LANDS, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement minister Anxious Masuka, will headline a webinar meant to discuss how sustainability can be entrenched in Zimbabwe’s agriculture.
The highly-anticipated event, to be hosted by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) — publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday — will feature a high-powered panel that includes Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Shadreck Makombe, Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) secretary-general Paul Zakariya, Tobacco Research Board chief executive officer Dahlia Garwe, agricultural economist Peter Gambara and livestock specialist Paul Chatikobo.
ANZ has described the imminent webinar as a collaborative effort that involves the country’s leading private newspaper group, ZFU and ZCFU.
“We are glad to have got the opportunity to collaborate with ZFU and ZCFU to come up with this timely event for stakeholders in the agricultural sector ahead of the 2021/22 summer cropping season. For this reason, we had to assemble a panel with the necessary experience and skill set to tackle the subject at hand.
“We are confident that they will hold an insightful discussion with the minister of Agriculture. After the very successful season we have just had, it is important to build on this success which came after the nation had endured devastating droughts. The theme ‘Reinforcing the sustainability of agriculture in Zimbabwe’ is therefore very appropriate,” said ANZ commercial director, Lewis Chikurunhe.
Among other objectives, the webinar to be moderated by veteran broadcaster Christina Nyirenda-Chimuka, seeks to provide information to farmers on the 2021/22 farming season, take stock of efforts to achieve an US$8, 2 billion agriculture economy by 2025 and also to contribute to the body of knowledge available on the agricultural sector.
“We pride ourselves on consistently providing a platform on which Zimbabweans can discuss matters of national significance. The forthcoming webinar is a continuation of this tradition. We are hopeful the webinar will bring to the table important ideas that can take this country forward,” said Chikurunhe.
The webinar comes amid projections by government that the agriculture sector will grow to more than US$8,2 billion within the next four years. Speaking with State media recently, Masuka said Zimbabwe experienced massive growth in agriculture last year as a result of collaborative efforts between government and the private sector.
“In the first year of implementation, we have grown from US$5.8 billion to US$7.8 billion. This confirms that the target will be passed this year and agriculture will be much more than an US$8.2 billion industry by 2022, ahead of the initial deadline of 2025,” he said.