Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector is on the rebound following an anticipated bumper harvest due to good rains during the farming season.
Basing on the probable bumper harvests, key players in the agricultural sector voiced the need to employ value addition so as to minimize post harvest losses.
Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement developed the Agricultural Recovery Plan (2020-2023) to propagate the agricultural transformation agenda which is sought at value addition, inclusiveness of small holder farmers amongst other aims.
In a local publication, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement permanent secretary John Bhasera asserted that inclusiveness of small holder farmers will put the economy in a good stead and usher stimulus into the rest of the economic sectors.
“The surest inclusive approach where no one is left behind can only be achieved through enhanced agricultural transformation,” Bhasera said.
In an interview with BusinessMail, Vice President of APEX Council for Young Farmers Associations Baldwin Mazango said value chain is the missing link of creating sustainable agriculture in Zimbabwe and that it is a leap forward which agriculturalists should seriously consider.
“Value addition brings out more to the farmer, ultimately disrupts monopolies that are out there and that will lead to consumers getting cheaper products due to the availability of different products,” Mazango said.
Mazango said value addition is of great importance to the end user because of uncompromised quality and in the end consumers will not be exposed to harmful manufacturing practices.
In Zimbabwe over 70% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods according to Food and Agriculture Organisation report. Thus, there is need to incorporate small scale farmers in value addition since they play a critical role in food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe.
“If small scale farmers who are mainly domiciled in the rural areas focus on value addition they will get more income and they will improve their standards of living.
“The anticipated bumper harvest should entail that government, private sector, agriculture associations and all players across the value chains should now have programs that focus on small holder farmers,” Mazango said.
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