Agrobusiness - Featured - Local - Top Stories - June 16, 2021

Gvt reaffirms its position in supporting the vulnerable population

Government has deliberated and endorsed the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZIMVAC) led by the Food and Nutrition Council (FNC) which conducted the Annual Rural Livelihoods Assessment (ARLA) in May 2021.

The 2021 ARLA was undertaken to inform planning for targeted interventions to help the vulnerable people, given the prevailing situation in the country as well as their long-term vulnerability context; and to monitor and to report on commitments within the guiding frameworks.

The existing national food and nutrition policies and strategies, include the National Development Strategy (NDS1) 2021-2025, the Food and Nutrition Security Policy; and the Zero Hunger Strategy.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the findings further revealed that a well-coordinated Government assistance programme to smallholder farmers buttressed by the ready availability of inputs on the market and normal to above normal rainfall in most parts of the country, resulted in the country’s 2021 maize and traditional grains production increasing by over 147.5% compared to the 2020 harvest.

“The Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme recorded a significant adoption rate, with   52% of households practising it and 56% of the sampled households having been trained within one year of its inception.

“The nation is informed that tangible achievements have been registered in the following Programmes; crop diversification; Access to Agriculture Extension Services and Agricultural Markets; Agriculture Modernisation, Adoption of Improved Livestock Practices; Access to Rural Finances; Access to Rural Infrastructure ,and Services; non-farm and on farm income sources; and social protection,” Mutsvangwa said.

Government has also reaffirmed its position in maintaining consistency on social protection and support of the vulnerable population.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has witnessed increased support from Treasury and, a reduction of assistance from the Development Partners.

“At least 54% of the households received support from Government, with Development Partners complementing these efforts by supporting 25% of the households.  The average household monthly income increased from USD 33 in 2020 to USD 75 in 2021.Generally, it is observed that there are a number of communities with irrigation schemes (27%) across the country,” Mutsvangwa said.

Government has a ensured a food surplus economy after it has noted a reduction in the predominance of food insecurity from 56% in 2020 to 27% this year hence the right step towards achieving one of the country’s goals in the NDS1.

“Government will accelerate the setting up of irrigation schemes and ensure that communities have improved access to reliable sources of water for agricultural production.

“It is expected that some urban dwellers may experience food insufficiency for which Government is ready to provide the required support.  Development partners and Donor Agencies are encouraged to procure food from inside the country as imports will not be necessary,” Mutsvangwa said.



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