By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Vangelis Haritatos, launched the inaugural Agricultural Sector Survey in partnership with Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS), Financial Gazette and AEDS as the consultant with funding from CBZ and National foods last month.
The event was attended by the Minister and Ministry heads, ZAS executive board, business leaders, bankers, agricultural specific associations and other agricultural interest holders.
The survey centralised agriculture and the rural population in achievement of the President’s call for vision 2030.
“Agriculture lies at the heart of President Mnangagwa’s vision of a middle economy status for Zimbabwe by 2030”, Mr. Haritatos said.
The survey which resonates with the Zimbabwe Agricultural Infrastructure Policy Framework (ZAIP) also sought to calculate the infrastructure shortfalls in the agricultural sector.
Speaking at the event, Survey consultant, and academic, Dr Gift Mugano said: “The survey realised shortages in agricultural infrastructure such as storage silos, irrigation equipment and traction power like tractors and combined harvesters.”
The survey was part of ZAS’ efforts to contribute towards provision of reliable, ethically acquired, factual and discussive discussions.
Speaking at the same event, ZAS CEO, Dr. Anxious Masuka, said: “ The partnership is aimed at complementing Government’s efforts in reviving agriculture and secondly complement the need for evidence based, decision centred and decisive knowledge for agricultural improvement”
The research was done nationwide through case studies, data analysis, as well as partnerships with tertiary Institutions like University of Zimbabwe and Ezekiel Guti University.
The Minister called on business leaders, civic groups, media and other agriculture interest parties to complement government’s efforts in realising President Mnangagwa’s aspirations of Vision 2030.
Survey funder CBZ also re-emphasised their commitment to agriculture through their operations as well as decentralisation of their agriculture units to the agricultural centres.
CBZ Head of Wholesale Banking, Mike Madondo said, “ Our commitment to agriculture is realised through our forty percent stake in agro financing, and decentralisation of agro based units from Westgate to the respective areas where agriculture is taking place in Rusape, Mutare, Chiredzi, Chinhoyi, Mvurwi and Kariba.
The survey realised the gains that command agriculture has made on the general agriculture landscape of Zimbabwe through improving output.
“The gains of command agriculture where evident in the survey as increasing production and self sustainability as well as eradicating poverty,” Dr Mugano said
The survey will inform policymakers as to the success stories as well as the challenges in the agriculture sector and will be held annually.