Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made yesterday officially launched the National Association of Show Societies of Zimbabwe, a body bringing together show societies.
The event, which took place at the Harare Showgrounds saw 15 show societies across the country becoming members.
These are the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, Kadoma Agricultural Show Society, Midlands Show Society, Masvingo Provincial Show Society, Mashonaland East Provincial Agricultural Show Society, Bulawayo Agricultural Society, Lowveld Show Society, Victoria Falls Agricultural Show, Matabeleland South Agricultural Show Society, Chipinge Show Society, Mazowe Valley Show Society, Mashonaland Agriculture Show Society, Chinhoyi Show Society, Chegutu Show Society and Hwange Show Society.
In a speech read on his behalf by director in the Department of Research and Specialist Services, Crops Research Dr Dumisani Kutywayo, Minister Made said the coming together of the show societies will help in the attainment of the goals of Zim-Asset.
“I am pleased to be given the honour and privilege to officiate at the National Association of Agriculture Societies. My ministry is committed and is actively spearheading initiatives to ensure food and nutrition security for the nation.
“The Zim-Asset vision, ‘Towards an Empowered Society and Growing Economy’ and the 10-Point Plan for Economic Growth by His Excellency President Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address on the 25th of August 2015, sums it up,” he said.
Minister Made said his ministry was committed to the success of agriculture.
“Our commitment to the success of agriculture in Zimbabwe is evident through initiatives such as the Command Agriculture in which we are expecting a bumper harvest that will increase household food security and farmer livelihoods.
“This will also raise income levels for our farmers and have a positive effect on the national economic growth rate,” he said.
Minister Made said he was positive that the cotton support programme whose hectarage had been increased would be vital in reviving farmer income and livelihoods.
It will also benefit local industries that use cotton as raw material.
Minister Made said he looked forward to positive outcomes from the command livestock programme.
“The forthcoming livestock command programme will be instrumental in strengthening the livestock sector as we seek to regain our export markets in the European Union countries.
“This programme, which will be underpinned by support for farmers in the marginal areas of the country, will increase resilience of farmers to the adverse effects of the climate change as evidenced by high livestock mortality during the past two years as a result of the inclement weather conditions,” he said.
Minister Made said there were also plans to revive horticultural production as Zimbabwe has conducive climatic and physical conditions for the projects.