Source: Govt pledges to converge agriculture, mining sectors | The Herald August 31, 2018
Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Government has pledged to converge the mining and agriculture sectors to create sustainable pro-poor development that will lay the ground for the creation of a middle-income economy by 2030. This was said by Vice President Kembo Mohadi at the mining and agriculture interface held at the Exhibition Park yesterday.
The interface was held under the theme; “Mining and Agriculture, Unlocking Value for Mutual Growth”.
The function was also attended by Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, representatives from Government departments, Zimbabwe Agricultural Society chairperson Dr Anxious Masuka, representatives from the Zimbabwe Miners Federation and representatives from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
VP Mohadi said the continued conflict between the mining and agriculture sectors had also brought unnecessary tension between the farmer and the miner when both had benefited from the land reform programme.
In a speech read on his behalf by the principal director in the Office of the Vice President, Mr Petros Ndlovu, VP Mohadi said there was need for a policy framework to ensure the mining and agriculture sectors worked together to boost development and the economy.
He said there was a realisation that for growth of both mining and agriculture, the value chain in both sectors should regularly converge to exchange ideas.
Mining, together with agriculture, is the centrepiece of our economy with the potential to generate growth spurts across sectors and re-ignite the much needed economic recovery.
“While mining and agriculture can compete for key inputs such as land, water and labour, the two sectors also rely on each other to prosper,” said VP Mohadi.
“To maximise the positive and mitigate the negative consequences, agriculture and mining must work together to create sustainable pro-poor development.
“As Government, we realise that this requires clear policy frameworks and coherent industry strategies. This we are totally committed to as a Second Republic.”
VP Mohadi applauded the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society for partnering with the mining sector towards improving the national herd through the Livestock Revitalisation programme which supports the Government’s Command Livestock programme.
“It is positive to note that ZAS has partnered, mixed along with several mining companies in this programme termed; ‘Shared Value: Improving and sustaining livelihoods’.
“I am told that mining companies and financial institutions such as Mimosa Mining Company, Zimplats, ZCDC, Unki Mine, ASA Resource, Cell Insurance and Homelink have partnered ZAS and provided critical resources to fund artificial insemination programmes as part of their social responsibility.”
All eight agricultural provinces are set to benefit from the programme.
VP Mohadi bemoaned the challenges that were being faced by players in the mining sector relating to environmental issues.
He expressed concern that large tracts of land, especially for chrome mining had been ravaged, resulting in the loss of both animal and human life.
“I am glad the reform that passed in the last Parliament through the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act have sought to manage this issue by emphasising that both are critical to economic growth,” he said.
Minister Chitando said the mining and the agriculture sectors relied on each other for raw material and products and therefore, should work together.
He said the Mines and Minerals Bill was waiting Presidential consent to become an Act.
Department of Veterinary Services principal director, Dr Unesu Ushewokunze Obatolu, said there were lots of benefits for the agriculture and mining partnership.
“We want to promote human health,” she said.