By Elita Chikwati and Andrew Muvishi
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which holds more than $40 billion in assets, believes that Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector is now ripe for foreign investment, especially under the new political administration. In an interview at the launch of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) 2018-2022 Strategic Plan on Friday, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation deputy director for agriculture development Mr Enock Chikava said the conditions created by the current political dispensation were attractive for investment in the sector.
He said gone were the days when investors used to shun Zimbabwe.
“The political climate is conducive for us, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to come to invest and fund agricultural projects,” he said.
“We want to improve yields per hectare through intensive funding with adequate inputs.
“As the representative of the Foundation, I am going to preach the word that Zimbabwe is open for business.”
Mr Chikava said there was need for the stakeholders in the sector to come together and boost production per unit area.
“We want our farmers to be up to date with new technology so they keep pace with the present situation,” he said.
ZFU director Mr Paul Zakariya said ZFU, through its new strategic plan, was considering strategic alliances.
“We are motivated by an idea to improve production and productivity per unit area, improve incomes at household levels and ensure profitability,” he said.