HARARE – The Zimbabwean government is implementing a series of empowerment initiatives aimed at transforming the agricultural system in rural areas.
These initiatives are designed to encourage farmers to view farming as a business and contribute to the country’s goal of becoming an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, Dr. Anxious Masuka, emphasized the importance of agricultural development in rural areas for the achievement of Vision 2030.
To drive this vision, the government is working on establishing 35,000 rural business units, working alongside the Rural Development 8.0 program.
Dr. Masuka outlined the significance of this approach, stating, “Agricultural development will lead to rural industrialization and this would catalyze the attainment of Vision 2030.
“So there is a very strong nexus between agricultural development, rural industrialization, and rural development, to attain Vision 2030.”
The Rural Development 8.0 policy encompasses various components, including the Presidential Input Programme, targeted at uplifting millions of Zimbabweans out of poverty.
This program aims to provide support to farmers and empower youth through initiatives like school garden businesses.
Dr. Masuka shared that the government is resuming the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy developed in August 2020, which aligns with the rural transformation strategy.
The goal is to establish 35,000 business units, one in each village, along with youth business units and school business units.
He emphasized the importance of introducing young children to agriculture as a business, stating, “Vision 2030 lies on the land.
The question is how do we ensure that young children are inducted into agriculture? We want to make sure that every learner has an opportunity to see agriculture as a business.”
Zimbabwe agric transformation drive
Dr. Masuka highlighted the success of school garden businesses, with each generating significant monthly income.
This model not only promotes agriculture as a viable business but also supports school feeding programs.
The government’s commitment to facilitating private sector involvement in agriculture, coupled with its role as an actor in the cotton sector through Cottco, demonstrates its dedication to rural development and agricultural transformation.
The government’s initiatives align with the goal of making Zimbabwe a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030, with agriculture playing a central role in uplifting communities and achieving this vision.
The 2023 World Cotton Day theme, “Making sustainable cotton fair for all, from farm to fashion,” resonates with the government’s efforts to create a sustainable and prosperous agricultural sector.
Dr. Masuka also emphasized the government’s role as a facilitator for private sector businesses and its commitment to increasing its shareholding in Cottco to support the cotton sector’s growth.