HomeNewsGovt looks to horticulture for agric revival

Govt looks to horticulture for agric revival

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Government wants the country to shift from traditional subsistence farming into the more economically lucrative commercial farming, an official has said.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi

Speaking at a Prime Seed Co Stapleford Research Station field day on Tuesday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development permanent secretary Ringson Chitsiko said the government will establish a horticulture department with the core mandate of crafting viable strategies that would see the nation’s agriculture economy develop solely into commercial farming.

“The government is currently contemplating coming up with a horticulture department committed to ensuring that the horticulture sector is cushioned through development of procedures, policies, measures, even strategies to enable it to adopt a forward look to transforming agriculture from subsistence to commercial farming and agribusiness,” he said.

Chitsiko further highlighted the importance of horticulture in contributing to gross domestic product and bringing the country’s Vision 2030 to fruition.

“It is for this reason, therefore, that Zimbabwe, under Vision 2030, has identified the horticultural sector as one of the key sectors to deliver 10% annual economic growth envisaged under the economic pillar,” he said.

“Prime Seed Co stands as a befitting example of fruitful partnerships that the government has established with private players in a bid to paint some positivity to various economic strategies inscribed within its economic blueprint, ZimAsset.

“The government recognises the significant contribution the company has made to the country’s horticulture sub-sector and, consequently, to the country’s food security. Indeed, my ministry appreciates the strategic role that Prime Seed Co is playing in the research, production and distribution of top quality certified seed to the farming community,” Chitsiko said.

Subsistence farming has remained central to the means of production of most farmers, who reside in rural areas.

Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Southern Africa, with a vibrant commercial farming sector, but the chaotic land reform programme, at the turn of the millennium, destroyed all the prospects for its growth.

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