Agric key for revival: UN

Sallomy Matare Herald Reporter
The United Nations on Thursday said agriculture is key in the revival of Zimbabwe’s economy as the country has massive potential to feed itself and once again retain its breadbasket status. The remarks tally with the Second Republic’s thrust that has seen President Mnangagwa prioritising the agricultural sector, with the line ministry being the only one served with two deputy ministers.

Command Agriculture scheme is also at the heart of President Mnangagwa, with this year alone Government earmarking $2,8 billion for the programme and will extend the facility by another year and result in the production of 210 000 hectares of maize and 30 000 hectares of soya beans during the 2019/20 summer cropping season.

Speaking at a workshop in Harare, outgoing UN Resident Representative Ambassador Bishow Parajuli, widely seen as an astute diplomat who ended his five-year tour of duty in Zimbabwe yesterday and is heading for India, said agriculture will be a strong pillar for the revival of the economy.

“Zimbabwe can produce not only to feed itself, but Africa and beyond,” he said. “Zimbabwe has so much land, right weather and water. With right policies we can overcome all these challenges.”

Ambassador Parajuli said Zimbabwe has a great future lying ahead and needs joint efforts from all citizens in the transformation process being spearheaded by President Mnangagwa.

“I hope economic challenges will be a thing of the past, with efforts by Government to transform the country and bringing long-term sustainable solutions,” he said. “International engagement and open for business, more investment, new policies, concrete development plans, these are excellent visions from his Excellency President Mnangagwa.

“Efforts of central Government and leadership of President Mnangagwa has been excellent as shown by the appeal document we launched on 6 August.”

On the hardships facing the country, Ambassador Parajuli said the situation was a combination of Cyclone Idai, drought and efforts to stabilise the economy.

“We should adapt to climate change so that households are able to respond without relief efforts,” he said. “UN partners are committed to work with Zimbabwe. We came a long way since a humanitarian revised appeal was made.

“Zimbabwe is not alone in its calamity time, I was once in a country where a cyclone killed 100 000 people and millions displaced. My appeal is for every Zimbabwean to join hands. This is not an international community issue alone, it is not about the UN, but all of us.”

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