China pledges more help for agric sector

CHINA on Wednesday pledged to develop Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector to help the country attain food self-sufficiency following recurrent droughts.Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhou Ding made the pledge during the handover ceremony of 1 050 metric tonnes of rice and a similar consignment of flour under the Chinese government’s emergency food assistance programme to Zimbabwe.

“China is committed to helping Zimbabwe develop its agricultural facilities, enhancing capacities and investment in Zimbabwe,” Zhou said.“Chinese Agricultural Demonstration Centre has engaged effectively in technical training pushing for agricultural modernisation in Zimbabwe.

“We will continue to encourage Chinese companies to invest here for Zimbabwe’s sustainable and high quality development in the agricultural sector.”He said China was committed to expanding imports of agricultural products from Zimbabwe.“As the largest supporter of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, China imported US$656 million of agricultural products from Zimbabwe in 2022,” Zhou said.

“China is importing Zimbabwean fresh citrus from this July, which will generate considerable foreign exchange income for Zimbabwe and improve the livelihoods of Zimbabwean farmers.”

According to Zhou, China has also helped to drill 1 000 boreholes across the country and supported other irrigation projects.Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima pleaded for more Chinese assistance.

“As the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, it is our constitutional duty to mobilise resources for the poor and vulnerable citizens. Some of our programmes include the harmonised cash transfers, the Basic Education Assistance Module, monthly maintenance allowances and the food deficit mitigation strategy which will benefit from these donations and others,” he said.

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