Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has received ICT equipment valued at US$154 637 from the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) to improve evidence generation and utilisation within the ministry for informed resilience-related policy decisions.
The equipment donated under the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) comprises 250 tablets, 22 laptops and 70 desktops. The machinery is also expected to support the operationalisation of the Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS).
For the past 6 years, ZRBF has deliberately supported data management activities in the Ministry and we hope the equipment will further improve these capacities.
Handing over the equipment, UNDP resident representative, Ms Madelena Monoja said the donated equipment was building on previous data management support which resulted in a server at the Ministry’s head office, desktops for AGRITEX’s national, provincial and 18 district offices and GPS machines and laptops among others.
“We have supported other key ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality with various equipment aimed at supporting evidence generation and utilisation which is a vital arm of resilience building. Further, we are anticipating additional equipment valued at US$420 000 which are in the process of being procured for these two ministries at the national and district levels.
“One of the major notable achievements of the ZRBF support is the full digitalisation of the Crop and Livestock Assessments in Zimbabwe. In 2021, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development undertook the Crop and Livestock Assessments using an online system whereby survey inputs were recorded on tablets and relayed to the central server in near-real-time, and thus avoiding delays and a eliminating paper-based system.
“The generation of data by Agricultural Information Management Systems will improve both agricultural productivity and profitability. The benefits include knowledge and access to appropriate inputs, extension advice, weather warnings and market prices.
“The use of ICT in agriculture and resilience building enables the monitoring and prediction of trends which in turn allows communities to plan for risks and disasters, thus increasing their capacities to cope with challenges in the wake of the climate crisis,” he said.
Speaking after receiving the ICT equipment Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, Dr John Basera said the ZRBF programme was complimenting Government’s efforts in improving food and nutrition security as well as climate resilience in natural resource management.
“Resilient Sustainable Agriculture and climate proof technologies being promoted by ZRBF are crucial in addressing adverse effects of climate change.ZRBF is contributing significantly to poverty alleviation, community resilient building, minimised adverse effects of hazards and to the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.