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Broad agric policy will bring investment – FAO

Broad agric policy will bring investment – FAO 

Financial Gazette 19/4/2018

Nyasha Chingono Own Correspondent 

THE Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has urged government to expedite the process of crafting Zimbabwe’s agricultural policy. Faying the document was crucial to attracting investment to the sector. 

Speaking to The Financial Gazelle at the launch of the Inception Workshop for Policy Development to Support In­vestments in the Agricultural Sector, FAO country director, Chimimba Phiri (pictured) said a clear agriculture policy was the only hope for investment. 

“An agriculture policy is extremely important because it will not only help government in deciding what to achieve, but it also gives potential investors an idea of what the gov­ernment of Zimbabwe wants,” said Phiri. 

Government has been dragging its feet in coming up with a comprehensive policy amid calls by agriculture or­ganisations for finality over the issue due to dwindling in­vestment in that sector.

“This would help in ascertaining what the policy prior­ities are so that an investor knows the environment which they are coming into. If there is no policy they may decide not to come,” said Phiri. 

In his address Phiri said many agriculture and food se­curity policies in sub-Saharan Africa had fallen short of at­tracting investment in the sector. 

This has in turn failed to help eliminate hunger and pov­erty. 

Results from monitoring of agriculture and food poli­cies in sub-Saharan Africa by FAO have shown similar trends and a number of them are applicable to the Zimba­bwean situation as documented by a number of studies and reviews done in this country. 

Globally, agriculture faces an unprecedented confluence of pressures, including a 30 percent increase in the glob­al population, intensifying competition for increasingly scarce land, water and energy resources, and the existential threat of climate change. 

To provide for a population projected to reach 9,3 billion in 2050 and support changing dietary patterns, esti­mates are that food production will need to increase from the current 8,4 billion tonnes to almost 13,5 billion tonnes a year. Achieving that level of production from an already seriously depleted natural resource base will be impossible without profound changes in food and agriculture systems. 

Phiri also urged government to expedite the process so as to ensure future food supply. “We hope that government is going to agree on an agri­cultural policy, approve it and implement it,” added Phiri. 

Governments round the world, use policies to influence domestic agricultural markets and budgetary transfers to support specific groups or to finance certain services in the sector.        [email protected]


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