Story by Health Editor, Abigirl Tembo
THE food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has commended Zimbabwe for its Presidential agricultural schemes which are meant to ensure food security in the country.
The 16th Food and Agriculture Organisation sub-regional office for Southern Africa multidisciplinary team meeting being held in a hybrid format has brought together FAO units, regional economic communities, and other key stakeholders to discuss and exchange information on pertinent development and partnership issues.
In an interview with ZBC News on the sidelines of the meeting in Harare this Tuesday, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative, Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel commended Zimbabwe’s agricultural programmes for alleviating hunger from the household level.
“We are very glad that the leadership of Zimbabwe came up with these Presidential initiatives. In Africa and this applies to Zimbabwe as well unless we address the agri-food systems and the challenges that agriculture is faced, we will not be in a position to transform our economies.
“Most of our population live in rural areas, they depend on agriculture, that system needs to be modernised, it needs to be transformed and so the efforts that the government of Zimbabwe is putting in place towards steering this process of transformation whether it is in livestock, poultry, fisheries or crops. All this is very key and therefore it will contribute to suppressing the challenges of hunger and malnutrition,” he said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator for Zimbabwe, Mr Edward Kallon commended the relationship between FAO and Zimbabwe.
“We are hopeful FAO will continue working in the region and put governments on the driving seat to ensure the region is food self-sufficient,” he said.
The government confirmed its willingness to continue working with FAO in ensuring food security in Zimbabwe.
“I would like to assure you of the commitment of Zimbabwe to join hands with FAO, regional and global partners in the fight against hunger and rapid transformation of Southern Africa’s agrifood systems through effective partnerships as alluded in this year’s theme” effective partnerships for accelerated agrifood systems transformation in Southern Africa,” said Honourable David Marapira from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.
The government has rolled out various agricultural schemes meant to ensure food self-sufficiency with the recent addition of poultry, goats, and fish to the Presidential schemes aimed at ensuring the nutritional needs of the country are met at the household level.