‘Policies must allow for recovery from Covid-19 shocks’

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Dakarai Mashava in GWERU

THERE is an urgent need for policies that enable Zimbabwe to quickly recover from shocks like the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos,  has said.

Officiating at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union 80th congress yesterday, Haritatos said the government’s Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, which seeks to attain a US$8,2 billion agriculture industry by 2023 contains interventions meant to make the sector more robust, was one such policy.

“The interventions implemented by the government include climate proofing through the Pfumvudza concept and increasing irrigation development and rehabilitation, import substitution through promotion of wheat, maize and soya beans to reduce the huge import bill, creation of green belts, promoting private sector investment, improving agriculture financing, investing in a blitz cattle dipping programme and promotion of export-oriented production, as well as the Belarus and John Deere agriculture mechanisation facilities,” said the deputy minister.

Haritatos added that the transformation of the livestock sector through the Livestock Growth Plan would address several challenges hampering the sector.

“The Livestock Growth Plan is premised on improved animal nutrition and genetics.

“Improved animal nutrition will come through the development of pasture greenbelts, hay baling, on-farm feed formulation … and forage banks.

“Improved animal genetics will come through artificial insemination and natural breeding,” he said.

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