NECF to craft agric blueprint

THE National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) and Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society (ZAS) will co-host the inaugural agro-business dialogue on the sidelines of the Harare Agricultural Show next week which seeks to formulate ways of increasing agricultural output.

Business Reporter

The national dialogue, which will be held on August 22 under the theme Leveraging agricultural opportunities for economic growth, comes at a time when mining has overtaken agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.

Agricultural sub-sectors, save for tobacco, have since the onset of the land reform programme been underperforming due to underfunding, among other factors.

In a statement issued last week, ZAS said the purpose of the dialogue was to bring together leading professionals in the agriculture and agro-processing business sectors to a roundtable with a view to coming up with strategies on how the sector could play a pivotal role on the economic rebound.

“Restoration of the breadbasket status of Zimbabwe in the region would be a key concern at the dialogue. The outcome of the dialogue would be input into the country’s policy formulation process,” ZAS said in the statement.

ZAS said the objectives of the national dialogue was to review the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe, enunciate the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation, review challenges confronting the sector and recommend long-lasting solutions to come up with policy advisory notes for government.

Over 400 delegates from government, agriculture sector, agro-processing sector, agro-input suppliers, research institutions and agricultural colleges, financial institutions, international cooperating partners in the agriculture sector are expected to attend.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru is scheduled to officially open the national dialogue and other keynote speakers lined up include officials from the Agriculture and Health ministries, Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Nigel Chanakira, the World Bank and Food and Agriculture Organisation.

1 Comment

  1. Also discuss the following;
    – Liberalize the marketing platform of food crops to allow market forces to determine the prices of produce.
    – Allow the development of commodities exchange to be used as vehicles of price discovery and sources of capital of farmers.
    – Foster the contract farming framework by strengthening the dispute resolution processes, especially side marketing.
    – Allow foreign direct investment, subject to the country’s laws, in agri-business, especially focusing on value addition.
    – Incorporate local communities in big agricultural programs to conserve the environment (why would communities in the catchment of sugar estates take care of the rivers when profits are shared by shareholders of sugar estates, while communities languish in poverty)
    – Formulate policies which can make barren lands in Regions 4, 5 be productive.
    – Allow some form of land market to exist, where collateral value of land is restored and where land can be bought and sold in an open market.
    – The land audit focusing on land utilization and capacity of land holders should be conducted and the money should be found.
    – A frank discussion on GMOs should commence, where people talk facts and not becoming emotional.

    Thank u

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