Michael Tome Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT plans to fund crop and livestock production to the tune of $1 billion over the next five years.
Addressing farmers at a field day held at Seed Co’s Rattray Arnold Research Station, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Davis Marapira said the funds would be disbursed through the command farming programme.
“Government will set aside around $1 billion for Command Agriculture over the next five years to boost growth in agriculture,” said Deputy Minister Marapira.
This comes against the backdrop of a successful agricultural season that was sponsored by Government with nearly $200 million having been invested under the Command Agriculture programme. The deputy minister was quick to point out that 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s industries acquire their raw materials from agriculture hence the sector’s strategic importance to the domestic economy.
He also pointed out that it contributes about 30 percent to GDP while also accounting for over 60 percent of employment in the country. The deputy minister called for Public Private Partnerships between companies like Seed Co and Government to attain the intended growth in the agriculture sector. Seed Co managing director Denias Zaranyika concurred with Deputy Minister Marapira’s comments, emphasising the need for partnerships.
“Let me say that in the provision of quality seeds to our farmers, we do not lose sight of the fact that we achieve more through partnerships and let me reiterate that without partnerships we cannot hope to adequately fulfil our vision.