Govt wants more financial sector participation in agriculture

the herald

Elton Manguwo

The government’s various support programs for agriculture will result in increased growth and productivity of the sector, which will cut the financial sector from further involvement in agriculture.

“Improving reproduction is a key issue as productivity always anchors the business viability of the agricultural sector,” said Professor Obert Jiri, Director General of Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services (AARDS).

Prof. Jiri’s comments come against the backdrop of Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof. Mthuli Ncube’s observations that low yields weakened the competitiveness of other agriculture-dependent sectors for inputs and increased demand for imports to cover production shortfalls, which increased fiscal spending. weakening balance of payments positions to unsustainable levels.

“Despite the opportunities and ongoing transformation of the agricultural sector, the financial sector has been hesitant to support the sector and mechanisms related to the sector, such as low production and crop failure due to climate change, are still being developed,” he said. Professor Ncube.

Government support to a number of agricultural programs has significantly increased production levels of strategic crops for targeted crops such as wheat, reaching a record 375,000 tonnes this year.

Maize yields in the country are less than one and a half tonnes per hectare, compared to neighboring countries such as Malawi, Zambia and South Africa, which are less than two and a half tonnes.

The Pfumvudza program for climate-resilient agriculture is undoubtedly essential as it faces the improvement of production yields for the maximum population of the country in the future and as the Government reduces subsidies for food production.

“The aim is to limit the Government’s role to supporting vulnerable families, providing necessary infrastructure and extension services, among other important support services,” Prof Ncube said.

Therefore, the Government will continue to restructure the sector and strengthen existing agricultural value chains, increase domestic production of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, as well as deepen the liberalization of agricultural markets.

“We have increased engagement with stakeholders to review the current agricultural financing model to increase the role of the private sector in the financing of the agricultural sector,” Professor Ncube stressed.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development continues to improve crop yields through a holistic approach, promoting appropriate varieties, pest and disease management and agro-ecological crop selection.

“That is what we can control, but there are other factors that we will need to adapt to and mitigate, such as climate change and the use of water for irrigation and crop production is a way to combat the climate and increase productivity.” said Professor Jiri.

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