Zimbabwe Agricultural Show kicks off

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Harare (New Ziana) The Zimbabwe Agricultural Show kicked off on Monday with organisers hosting a breakfast meeting dubbed climate smart agriculture –sustainable innovations and practices to
ensure food security.

Addressing guests, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka said the government is prioritising the development and implementation of policies and
programmes that promote climate-resilient agriculture to enable farmers to cope with the changing environmental conditions.

He said the government also recognises the importance of private sector engagement and public-private-partnerships (PPPs).

“The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has been working tirelessly to promote the participation of the private sector in all aspects of agricultural transformation,” he said.

“We have introduced policies that compel private sector off-takers and
users of agriculture commodities to produce at least 40 percent of their
annual requirements through local production, supporting local farmers
through various frameworks such as joint ventures, contract farming and
corporate farming.”

Such efforts, he said, have already started bearing fruit since their
promulgation in 2020 with last year for example, the private sector contributed 57 000 hectares, accounting for 71 percent of wheat production in the country.

The government has also facilitated the formation of the Food Crops Contractor Association (FCCA), a consortium of private sector millers and processors, which has been contributing to production import substitution.

It is also supporting agricultural research and development, since
innovation and scientific advancements play a significant role in enhancing the productivity and efficiency of agricultural practices, Masuka explained.

“By investing in research and development, we can unlock new technologies, techniques, and best practices that will empower our farmers and enable them to thrive in a rapidly evolving agricultural
landscape,” he said.

In an effort to promote investment in the agricultural sector, the government has also lined up various incentives such as duty rebates on importation of high-value capital materials and exemption from income tax in the first five years of operation.

Other intitiatives include the establishment of specific Economic Zones,
differentiated value-added tax rates, and favourable treatment for machinery and equipment as part of equity investments.

“Additionally, we recognise the potential for climate financing and the
utilisation of regenerative agriculture to sequester carbon dioxide and benefits from carbon credits.

“We encourage innovative approaches in tapping into these funding opportunities,” said the Minister.

Masuka also noted the importance of bilateral cooperation and collaboration with other countries which he said were highly valued by the Second Republic that believes in a win-win situation that unlocks the potential of the agricultural sector.
New Ziana

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