THE Government through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has made significant strides in developing robust marketing systems vital for both export and domestic trading while setting up market linkages through government-led initiatives.
Speaking at the ongoing Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Conference permanent secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Basera said that the citrus trade protocol would be broadened to encompass other exports such as blueberries and avocados. A temporary embargo on horticulture imports to protect financier’s investments from side marketing will be ensured through strict enforcement of statutory instruments 145 of 2019 and SI 96, 97 and 188 of 2021.
The extending of the citrus trade protocol that is set to run for the next five years gives farmers a chance to explore the lucrative export market whilst enjoying zero competition from imports.
To add on, the Government through its policy of binding the private sector to fund 40 percent production of its raw materials locally has been able to motivate contract farming from key buyers. This will enable the Ministry’s vision of transforming farming into real business a reality through such inter-linking ‘farm to industry’ initiatives.
Furthermore, the Government is promoting contract farming for strategic crops, as an important aspect of the agriculture revolution. With the 2022/23 fast approaching, the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) is urging farmers to register to make them eligible for contract farming.
“Farmer registration as a statutory requirement is important for safeguarding against side marketing. In the same vein, it provides a ready market for farmers while its gives manufacturers a guaranteed source of raw materials,” AMA chief executive officer Mr Clever Isaya observed.
The Government is pushing the notion of market driven agriculture at the heart of all agriculture processes through vigorous market surveys so that farmers can develop an appetite to produce that, which is not available while the Ministry makes forward strides to transform the agriculture sector in line with modern business practices.
AMA has since been tasked with regulating the marketing of agriculture produce while developing applicable business models and creating market linkages for Government led initiatives such as the Presidential Rural Goat Scheme and Rural Poultry Scheme among others.
More over the roping in of soya bean in the Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX), which is a bidding platform for agriculture produce highlights the Government’s effort in creating a ready market for farmer’s produce so that they can realise full value from their farming activities.