ZIMBABWE is seeking consultancy services to develop a National Contract Farming Strategy Framework in a bid to boost the agricultural sector which suffered a knock after the chaotic land reform programme at the turn of the millennium, the Government Gazette has shown.
Report by Tarisai Mandizha.
This comes at a time when the Ministry of Agriculture has in recent times been working towards resuscitation of farming through support of sound contract farming schemes in wheat, cotton and soyabean production as the country struggles to regain its regional breadbasket status.
“Tenders are invited for the supply of consultancy services for the development of a National Contract Framing Strategy Framework for Zimbabwe for the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development,” reads the Government Gazette in part.
The submissions are expected to reach the State Procurement Board by May 7.
According to the tender documents, consultants are expected to work with experts from the Ministry of Agriculture’s economics and markets departments in coming up with a contract farming framework as well as analysing crop and livestock sector production, targeting, financing, regulation, marketing and policy.
The tender document indicated the main activities were to undertake a desk study, conduct the key informant interviews, perform a comprehensive analysis on contract farming programmes based on the desk study and their interviews and come up with recommendations.
“Four officers in the department of economics and marketing will be assigned to work with the deputy director to support the consultant in carrying out the assigned work. Progress reports will be submitted on a weekly basis,” reads part of the tender document.
Contract farming in Zimbabwe has resulted in resettled small-scale tobacco growers driving the national tobacco output from an all-time low of 48,8 million kilogrammes in 2008 to 144 million kg last year.
Experts say the arrangement has allowed undercapitalised tobacco growers to boost output.
The golden leaf is the country’s second largest foreign currency earner after platinum.