Govt spearheads green agriculture

Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The Office of the President and Cabinet is spearheading the mainstreaming of green innovations in agriculture to mitigate the effects of climate change to agricultural performance and the economy. President Mnangagwa’s Government is pushing for economic development across all sectors, which should consequently propel Zimbabwe to a middle income economy by 2030.

As of July 2017, middle-income countries are nations with a per capita gross national income of between $1 005 and $12 235.

The contribution of the agriculture sector could, however, be hampered by climate change induced droughts that have of late plagued the country and the region at large.

Addressing delegates at the official opening of the 2018 Green Innovations Expo and Conference in Harare on Thursday, Permanent secretary in the Office of President and Cabinet, Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku, said Government was aware of the threat that climate change posed to the country’s agriculture prospects hence the need to invest in innovative strategies.

Government has already received support for the initiative from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Embassy of France in Zimbabwe, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) — as re-engagement efforts continue to bear fruit.

“The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight climate change as a major challenge that threatens to derail global socio-economic development,” said Ambassador Chidyausiku.

“SDG 13 states that there is an urgent need to address the impact of climate change and the issue is treated as a cross cutting theme in all the 17 SDGs.

“The Government of Zimbabwe is very much aware of the challenges brought about by climate change and the need to respond urgently.

“The Office of the President and Cabinet is playing a central role in the implementation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“The office intends to ensure that the NDCs and climate change in — general are mainstreamed into all socio – economic sectors,” he said.

Zimbabwe, under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, pledged to reduce its energy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent per capita to mitigate the climate change effects.

Zimbabwe Agriculture Society chief executive Dr Anxious Masuka, said there was a misconception amongst farmers that green agriculture innovations were expensive, but said his organisation will work to demystify such misconceptions.

“Despite the clear benefits of climate smart agriculture to improved production and productivity there has not been a wholesome acceptance of this practice, in part because of the real and or perceived expenses associated with the initial costs of adopting these practices and technologies,” said Dr Masuka.

“This Green Innovations Expo and Conference is, therefore, an important platform to demystify these assumptions, highlight the importance of going green to the individual, the community and the national economy in the long run, and showcase business opportunities available in this increasingly important sector,” he said.

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