BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
PRIVATE sector investment into Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector continues to rise, accounting for 63% of the wheat output last year, the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) has said.
AMA said contract farming contributed 158 000 tonnes of the 250 000 tonnes of wheat during the 2020/2021 farming season.
According to the AMA’s latest newsletter, Food Crop Contractors Association (FCCA) chairperson Graeme Murdoch said the private sector-funded crop “was considered the largest contributor to what was a very good wheat crop.”
Murdoch said through private sector funding in Zimbabwe, agricultural production has improved.
Currently, 16 contractors in grains, oilseeds and horticulture are in compliance with AMA’s contract farming regulations, the regulatory body said.
AMA’s chief executive officer Clever Isaya applauded FCCA’s efforts to increase the area under production for various crops in the country.
“In the short time they have been in existence, they have done a great job in complementing the government’s efforts to ensure food security and self-sufficiency in line with the agriculture and food systems (transformation) strategy,” he said.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
“Part of our efforts this year are targeted at promoting contract farming and encouraging private sector investment in agriculture,” Isaya added.
Registration of contractors with AMA is in line with Statutory Instrument 140 of 2013.
AMA said it will pursue various programmes aimed at developing local and regional markets and improving the environment that allows agriculture investment to thrive.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Wheat Board (ZWB) annual conference in Harare this week, Lands and Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos encouraged the private sector to participate in wheat production in a bid to reduce the country’s cereal import bill.
He said the government thrust was to see more millers and other private players joining contract farming to ensure 40% of their raw materials requirements are provided by the private sector and they will get 60% from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
GMB recorded 208 343 metric tonnes of wheat during the review period, with 60% of the produce rated as premium grade.