‘Agriculture sector to anchor development aspirations’

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
‘Agriculture sector to anchor development aspirations’ President Mnangagwa speaks at the commissioning of grain milling company, Champion Foods Private Limited

The Sunday News

Harare Bureau 

ZIMBABWE’S journey to become a modern, prosperous and highly industrialised country by 2030 will be driven by the continued growth and rapid transformation of the agriculture sector, which is a key pillar of economic growth, President Mnangagwa has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of a new grain milling company, Champion Foods Private Limited, in Harare last week, the President said a thriving agriculture sector was the anchor for Zimbabwe’s ambitious development goals.

“The importance of agriculture as the engine for Zimbabwe’s sustainable economic development cannot be overemphasised,” he said. 

“As you are aware, over 70 percent of livelihoods are directly and indirectly linked to the agriculture sector.

“The sector presents great potential to leapfrog the economy, given its capacity to influence the development of various services such as manufacturing, financing, insurance and logistics, among others. 

“I challenge our communities, young people and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities that these critical services have to offer.”

President Mnangagwa said the Government will continue to invest in the agriculture sector, while measures will be rolled out to ensure national food security.

Agriculture, he added, was an engine for rural development and industrialisation. 

“My Government will continue to foster a conducive operating environment to accelerate rural industrialisation, modernisation and growth of our economy,” the President said.

“Agriculture transformation and food self-sufficiency remain our top priority. 

“We are a nation capable of producing and feeding ourselves.

“Hence, in the ongoing transformation journey, all the necessary support shall be rendered so that the sector’s contribution to the overall growth of the economy will continue to surpass yesteryear records.

“This includes sustained support for the various agriculture production facilities, as well as investments in the construction of more dams, adoption of agriculture smart technologies and increased irrigation capacity.”

Value addition, he said, provides an important entry point for business development.

“The investment by Champion Foods is one of the ways the private sector is playing its part in growing our economy. 

“Through initiatives such as this one, my Government is ensuring the building of stronger and productive communities, which guarantees that we lift many of our people out of poverty into prosperity.

“By investing in value-added initiatives, we are ensuring the collective well-being of our societies, skills development among the youth and broader community participation. 

“This further brings about greater social harmony and cohesion at community level while providing a better quality of life for all and sustainable livelihoods.”

President Mnangagwa said the Government was committed to investing in science and technology as a vehicle for development.

He also called on stakeholders in the agriculture and education sectors to create synergies that will impart knowledge and skills to young people.

“Meanwhile, to further propel agriculture sector transformation, my Government will continue to invest in research, science, technology and innovation at the primary, secondary and higher education levels,” the President added.

“By equipping our youth with the requisite skills and knowledge, we are providing them with better tools for their future.

“I urge stakeholders in the agriculture and education sectors to develop synergies and collaborations for bolstering our technical, vocational and entrepreneurial education ecosystem.” 

This, he said, was critical as an ever-expanding industrial base requires a versatile human resource base of technicians and artisans.

“As we scale up our efforts towards value addition and the attainment of Vision 2030, public and private institutions, as well as farmers, are called upon to continue working together towards ensuring co-ordinated and increased production, marketing and financing of the agriculture sector. 

“On its part, my administration remains committed to supporting initiatives and investments to improve our agriculture sector, mitigate against climate change and end hunger and poverty.”

Champion Foods is the third-largest grain milling company in the country after National Foods and Blue Ribbon Foods.

It has the capacity to produce 500 tonnes of maize meal and 200 tonnes of wheat per day.

It is owned by Messrs Douglas Kwande and Patrick Mnangagwa.

 

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