UK injects $70m into agriculture

THE British government says it has injected $70 million to jumpstart Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector in the next four years, despite the frosty relations existing between Harare and its former colonial master following the seizure of white-owned commercial farms by the Zanu PF regime in 2000.

Source: UK injects $70m into agriculture – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 23, 2016

by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

The fund is being administered by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), under its Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP).

The support comes at a time Harare has announced plans to revitalise agriculture in light of this year’s crippling food shortages which have seen at least four million people depending on handouts from either government or donor agencies.

In an interview last week, DFID country director Annabel Gerry said the British were concerned and willing to assist Zimbabweans to be food-secure.

Gerry said the support was mainly technical assistance and technology transfer, particularly in the production of nutritious and drought-resistant seed varieties.

“We are putting in nearly $70 million (£47 million) under LFSP over the next years that will be used for technical assistance and technology multiplication in partnership with UN agencies and private sector players,” Gerry said.

Under the programme, DFID has funded the development and multiplication of orange maize seed and iron and zinc fortified beans by Prime Seeds, a subsidiary of SeedCo.

Currently, the LFSP programme is being implemented in eight districts across the country and will be extended to three new districts in the coming agriculture season.

“Some 18 000 families have benefited from the programme in eight districts across the country and three more districts will come on-board in the new season. These are Mazowe, Bindura and Banket,” Gerry added.

She further said DFID was working in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a UN agency, in implementing the project.

“FAO is managing and co-ordinating the LFSP as well as giving training and extension services to households that are in the project across the country,” Gerry said.

Zimbabwe’s maize harvest in the past season plummeted to around 750 000 metric tonnes, forcing government to import about 800 000 metric tonnes to cover the deficit.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    i am not the one 6 years ago

    Why would a condescending, arrogant, pompous nation like the uk, who have spread chaos, plunder and pillage wherever they have gone give money to a arrogant, incompetent, ignorant and violent govt like Zimbabwe? Is it a case of the former having pangs of guilt or has bob some dirty info on the shirt lifters?

    • comment-avatar
      Joe Cool 6 years ago

      I disagree entirely with your description of the UK – they are underhanded, hypocritical and devious and the reason they are continuing, by one means or another , to support Mugabe is beyond the comprehension of anyone with a logical or honest mind. They personify the word treachery – which is why Scotland would do well to have another independence vote and get out.

      • comment-avatar
        i am not the one 6 years ago

        Hey Joe, read it again, we both basically said the same and share a dislike of what that horrible little island represents.

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 6 years ago

    So the Poms are now funding to thieves? Really?