Mechanisation key to food security: Made

ZIMBABWE needs to move fast in accepting agricultural mechanisation in order to reclaim its regional breadbasket tag, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made has said.

Source: Mechanisation key to food security: Made – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 6, 2016


Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the recently held Adma Agricultural Show just outside Harare, Made also said the agricultural sector needed a substantial financial boost.

“Machinery and equipment is critical, but also soil fertility and water. Our youths could take excitement in automated machinery that is on show here and consequently join in the agricultural revolution we have kick-started through the land reform programme,” he said.

A ravaging drought and the continued capacity underutilisation in the agricultural sector has left over four million Zimbabweans in dire need of urgent food aid.

Made said equipment suppliers need to look at financing options given the economic situation Zimbabwe is going through.

“It is not up to government or financial institutions alone to find solutions that will assist our farmers in accessing this expensive equipment. The suppliers also have to come in,” he said.

“The timeous payment of farmers after they have delivered their produce is also important so that they can take care of their obligations to equipment suppliers.”

Case vice-president in-charge of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Matthew Foster, whose company is renowned for producing tractors and other equipment, said there had been little action in Zimbabwe in terms of investment.

“There is a lot of talk about Zimbabwe in Europe and the country’s agricultural potential, with little to show in terms of action on the ground,” he said.

“This is why we have come and partnered Southern Region Trading (local distributor for Case and Kuhn) to take advantage of the movement we have seen in terms of bringing agricultural land into production. It’s evident to those who can really look closely. We needed a good distributor with the kind of technical ability that would assist farmers in terms of back-up and support. I am confident Zimbabwe can be a springboard for us to launch into the African continent.”