Review land policies to boost food security: UN

BY FARAI MATIASHE

United Nations (UN) resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli has called on the government to review its land policies to allow farmers to develop their allocated land including installation of irrigation systems as a long-term measure to improve food security in the country.

Parajuli’s calls come at a time there has been policy inconsistency and alleged corruption in the agricultural sector with some farmers failing to implement major improvements on their land fearing eviction.

“With food insecurity in the country, the situation is moving from a crisis to an emergency. We can provide food, but that is a short-term. As a long-term

measure, there is need for the establishment of irrigation schemes,” the UN resident co-ordinator told a Press briefing on the sidelines of a 2018 high-level
Zimbabwe UN Development Assistant Framework (Zundaf) annual review and planning meeting in Harare yesterday.

“Policies should also be reviewed for land owners to feel comfortable to invest on their lands. Zimbabwe has been a granary for southern Africa and it can go
back (to that past glory).”

Parajuli said the UN would next week launch a humanitarian appeal to help those in need of food aid.

Addressing the gathering, Parajuli said Zundaf, which is a partnership framework between the government and the UN, is UN Zimbabwe’s collective offer of
support in accelerating progress towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

“Following the launch of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) last October and the government’s intention to prepare a five-year National Development Plan 2021-2025, the government and the UN jointly decided to extend the current Zundaf (programme) by one year, until 2021. This would allow for the new UN
strategic framework to be fully aligned in substance to the new national development priorities as articulated in the new National Development Plan,” he said.

The UN boss said under the current Zundaf, the UN together with its partners have been delivering over US$400 million annually through various development
projects and programmes to support government’s efforts.

“UN’s integrated support spans from food and nutrition security; gender equality; HIV and Aids; poverty reduction and value addition; public administration and
governance; and social services and protection,” Parajuli said.

He said the UN support was taking a longer-term approach to socio-economic transformation and poverty reduction, through accelerating reform measures,
including anti-corruption efforts as articulated in the country’s Vision 2030 and TSP.
Speaking at the same event, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Justin Mupamhanga said Zundaf was driving the government’s
progress and performance.

“It guides us on how the economy is going to be re-aligned. Also to improve irrigation systems and to support agriculture,” he said.

The United Kingdom Department of International Development-Zimbabwe and Southern Africa head Annabel Gerry said there was need to improve transparency in the
agricultural sector.

“On the issue of transparency, we need to have a behavioural change on that; such data as how much funds we have used. We need to have knowledge on supplies
and pricing,” she said.

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