HomeLocal NewsUK injects $70m into agriculture

UK injects $70m into agriculture

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THE British government says it has injected $70 million to jumpstart Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector in the next four years, despite the frosty relations existing between Harare and its former colonial master following the seizure of white-owned commercial farms by the Zanu PF regime in 2000.

by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Market opportunities for local products and services in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agricultural implements and inputs, irrigation development, construction and engineering services, safari clothing, leather and footwear were identified in Tanzania
Market opportunities for local products and services in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agricultural implements and inputs, irrigation development, construction and engineering services, safari clothing, leather and footwear were identified in Tanzania

The fund is being administered by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), under its Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP).

The support comes at a time Harare has announced plans to revitalise agriculture in light of this year’s crippling food shortages which have seen at least four million people depending on handouts from either government or donor agencies.

In an interview last week, DFID country director Annabel Gerry said the British were concerned and willing to assist Zimbabweans to be food-secure.

Gerry said the support was mainly technical assistance and technology transfer, particularly in the production of nutritious and drought-resistant seed varieties.

“We are putting in nearly $70 million (£47 million) under LFSP over the next years that will be used for technical assistance and technology multiplication in partnership with UN agencies and private sector players,” Gerry said.

Under the programme, DFID has funded the development and multiplication of orange maize seed and iron and zinc fortified beans by Prime Seeds, a subsidiary of SeedCo.

Currently, the LFSP programme is being implemented in eight districts across the country and will be extended to three new districts in the coming agriculture season.

“Some 18 000 families have benefited from the programme in eight districts across the country and three more districts will come on-board in the new season. These are Mazowe, Bindura and Banket,” Gerry added.

She further said DFID was working in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a UN agency, in implementing the project.

“FAO is managing and co-ordinating the LFSP as well as giving training and extension services to households that are in the project across the country,” Gerry said.

Zimbabwe’s maize harvest in the past season plummeted to around 750 000 metric tonnes, forcing government to import about 800 000 metric tonnes to cover the deficit.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. This is peanuts. We are not monkeys or Ncubes who celebrate peanuts . The British mist pay for land reform in full as per Lancaster House musings . We will never release these oppressors of their obligations .

  2. 36 years after independence surely you should pay for yourselves Zanu PF . The britons promised to pay for land bought from a willing seller not those who were forcibly evicted by this greedy government. The Zanu Pf must not see a dime of that money or else it will be looted

  3. so wat are you people saying, should we get the 70mil or should we not? zve land reform and lancaster is in the past. surely any logical thinking zimbo at this point only wants productivity.

  4. It is not a must that they should pay for the chaotic land reform. Zanu pf is responsible for the suffering of the people of zimbabwe. Some idiots hate the Britons but they want help from the same people they hate.

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