BY LORRAINE MUROMO Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos believes irrigation is critical in boosting food security in the face of climate change-induced droughts.
Addressing delegates and journalists during a field trip to United Nations Development Programme-Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) projects in Mwenezi and Chiredzi on Monday, Haritatos said his ministry was prioritising irrigation development.
“Irrigation development is a critical component in getting our agriculture correct. Vision 2030 entails lifting each other up and leading our people into a middle upper economy,” he said.
“Irrigation development is our number one priority in our ministry to mitigate against climate change because we have seen climate change is real and going two seasons back, we had consecutive seasons of drought.
“We have to harness the water bodies and to do that, we have irrigation development and our target as a ministry is 350 000 hectares and we have to fulfil our targets if we are to be truly food and nutrition sufficient.”
Haritatos added: “We would have wanted to have a surplus of over a million metric tonnes (of maize). Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen this season. The good part is we are still going to be borderline self-sufficient. Climate change is here and we need to do more as a ministry to ensure our people are food and nutrition sufficient.”
United Nations Development Fund country representative Mia Seppo said: “Agriculture is always going to be prone to weather variations and climate change, so there will be a layering of events from different sources of income to make communities resilient.”
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