Runesu Gwidi in MASVINGO
The World Food Programme (WFP) has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting agro-based projects in Zimbabwe to complement drought-mitigation programmes initiated by President Mnangagwa’s administration to ensure food self-sufficiency.
Speaking during a tour of Chebvute Conservation farming projects here on Tuesday, WFP executive director Mr David Beasly applauded Government efforts in ensuring there was no hunger in rural communities by expanding agro-based projects.
He was accompanied by UN Resident Coordinator Ambassador Bishow Parajuli, Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Sekai Nzenza and other WFP senior officials.
Mr Beasly said cordial relations between the UN, WFP and Zimbabwe was instrumental in the quest to uplift the living standards of the rural folk.
“On behalf of the UN and the WFP, l would like to appreciate the cordial relationship between the UN and Zimbabwe on improving the livelihoods of rural people,” he said. “WFP is committed to continue funding agro-based projects in Zimbabwe until they are self-sustainable to ensure food security.
“We also applaud the Government of Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa for its emphasis on drought mitigation programmes.”
Mr Beasly’s delegation toured a 3,5-hectare nutrition garden, a child play centre, poultry project, weir dam, solar-driven pump and a thriving fisheries project at Chebvute.
He expressed optimism that the projects-established in 2017 by 500 villagers-will soon be “cash cows” for the local community.
In her address at the same event Minister Nzenza said the sound relationship between Zimbabwe and the UN was a fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is open for business mantra and also a result his administration’s engagement and re-engagement efforts with the international world. Zimbabwe is committed to strengthening ties with the UN and WFP on drought mitigation agro-projects,” he said.
“We thank them and aquaculture which is the implementing partner for WFP. It is our hope that this will improve the livelihoods of many rural people,” she said.
Minister Nzenza hailed villagers at Chebvute for their hard work and resilience which she said was a lesson to other rural communities. She said Masvingo was fortunate to be the first province to host Mr Beasly and his delegation.