TREASURY has allocated ZWL4,3 trillion to the Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to ring-fence the agricultural sector at a time when the country is facing an El Nino-induced drought.
The El Nino drought is one of the major reasons that Treasury has reduced the gross domestic product growth outlook to 3,5%, from 5,5%, as agriculture makes up 17% of the economy.
“The country has achieved national food security through its agriculture support model. Going forward into 2024, the thrust is on consolidating the gains achieved so far,” Ncube said while presenting the 2024 national budget on Thursday.
“In this regard, Z$4.3 trillion is being allocated to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to spearhead the implementation of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.”
The allocation falls far below the target set in the 2003 Maputo Declaration where African nations committed to allocating at least 10% of their national budgets to agricultural development.
Agriculture remains the backbone of the economy, providing employment to about 60 to 70 % of the population, supplying 60% of the raw materials, and contributing 40% of total export earnings.