By Staff Reporter

THE Youth in Agriculture Unit under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,Water,Climate and Rural Resettlement has intensified efforts to market and attract investment for youths in the agriculture and agribusinesss sector.

The strategy involves branding of young commercial farmers who are doing well in the production of various crops and livestock.

Under the programme information of successful youth farmers will be published through various platforms that include print and online media.

Other platforms will include distribution of brochures at major exhibition platforms such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Harare Agricultural Show (HAS).

Head of the youth desk in the ministry Nickross Kajengo said the thrust to lure investment in agriculture was premised on the fact that Zimbabwe is an agro based nation and young people are beginning to show appetite to venture into the sector.

“Some Development and Economic Researchers have noted that branding of the nation through agriculture young champions is a neglected area in research, nation branding which is meant to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
Notwithstanding the global growth of FDI in volume and importance, and the omnipresence of nation branding through profiling champion farmers to promote exports or attract and promote agro tourism and investment, there has been virtually no research to date on the core issue, nation branding for FDI,” said Kajengo.

He said government has also committed to provide land to youth groups who have solid project proposal to drive the economy and create employment for their peers.

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has also underscored the importance of investing in agriculture and its value chains to bolster economic growth on the continent.

Afdb vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development Jennifer Blanke, said by transforming Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sector it will become the engine that drives Africa’s economic transformation through increased income, better jobs higher on the value chain, improved nutrition.

With its vast agricultural potential, Africa’s agribusiness sector is predicted to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent.

Some agribusiness leaders said there is a need to invest US$45 billion per year to harness the power of agriculture in Africa and move up the value chain to create jobs and wealth.

At present, only US$7 billion is invested in the sector. Investments from the private sector, leaders said, will create the adequate environment and enhance the emergence of locally owned agro-processing industries, capable of creating jobs and increasing incomes in rural Africa.

The continent could become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing US$110 billion worth of imports, as well as doubling its share of market value for select processed commodities.

The areas identified include:
*Oil Seed*
Best ten Soyabeans farmers
Best ten Groundnuts farmers
Best ten sesame farmers

Grain
Best ten maize farmers
Best ten small Grain farmers
Best ten wheat farmers

Horticulture
Best ten leaf vegetables
Best ten fruit vegetables
Best ten root ,tubers and bulb farmers
Best ten legume producers
Best ten orchard farmers

Ornamental Crops
Best ten flowers
Best ten lawn
Cash crops
Best ten coffee
Best ten tobacco
Best ten paprika
Best ten Cotton

Livestock
Best ten Piggery
Best ten Poultry
Best ten Beef
Best ten Dairy
Best ten rabbits
Best ten donkeys and horses

Innovation
Best ten farm machinery producers
Best ten farm structures
Best ten irrigation equipment
Management and Professionals

Best ten policy advocates
Best ten agricultural news reporters print
Best ten agriculture news reporters online
Best time reporters Electronic



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