BY JAMES MUONWA
Agriculture is the cornerstone of the realisation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’ Vision 2030 by which Zimbabwe would be an upper middle-income economy, a government official has said.
Speaking during a field day organised by AgriSeeds at the company’s research station in Mt Hampden on Tuesday, Lands deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos said agriculture was key to fulfilling the envisaged government target of uplifting livelihoods of the generality of the people by 2030.
“Agriculture is the principal motivator in truly fulfilling President ED Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 of making Zimbabwe an upper-middle income economy,” he said.
Haritatos reiterated government’s thrust to continue supporting agricultural production through reviewing crop producer prices to make the sector lucrative.
“Government, through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, will continue reviewing producer prices in order to ensure farming business continues to be viable. For the 2018/19 agricultural marketing season, the producer floor prices have been set as follows; maize and small grains $726 per metric tonne (mt), wheat $1 089, 69/mt, soyabeans 918/mt and cotton $1 950/mt,” the deputy minister said.
He urged seed companies to ensure timely availability of inputs at affordable prices, in order to increase the country’s grain output.
Haritatos commended AgriSeeds for working towards breeding seed varieties which give excellent yields, thereby improving livelihoods of farmers in the wake of climate change and its attendant challenges.
“Agricultural research is one of the important pillars of confronting Zimbabwe’s agricultural challenges, which ultimately has the potential to engender inclusive economic growth, benefit smallholder farmers, boost food production and end hunger,” he said.
AgriSeeds sales and marketing director Irvine Craig urged farmers and agricultural extension workers to appreciate that climate change was a reality and, therefore, they should implement sustainable agricultural practices to curb its dire effects.