The government has expressed confidence in the various policies that it has put to achieve food security and nutrition saying the goal towards zero hunger by 2030 is within reach.
This came out during belated national commemoration of World Food Day held at Valley Irrigation Scheme in Kezi Matobo District.
The commemoration ran under the theme: ‘Our Actions Are Our Future, Zero Hunger By 2030 Is Possible’, and issues of food security came under the spotlight.
The Provincial Minister of State for Matabeleland South Cde Abednico Ncube says while Matabeleland South has improved agricultural production owing to the command agricultural programme and presidential input facility, most irrigation schemes are still operating below capacity.
“This province has favourable climate conditions for crop production through irrigation; however, most of our irrigation schemes are not functional. It is our desire to resuscitate all these schemes and create a green belt in this province,” said Cde Ncube.
Representatives of the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation pledged to continue supporting the government to improve agricultural productivity, particularly among small holder farmers.
“Small holder farmers produce most of the world food but they are often the poorest, but if we empower them with the right skills and equipment and link them to markets and by working with the government, these farmers can become entrepreneurs, feed themselves and their community and Zimbabwe at large.
“Achieving zero hunger by any country, require stronger political will, consistent policies and programmes with financial support,” said Mr Eddie Rowe –WFP Country Representative.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri said the government is engaged in various activities and initiatives to improve food security and nutrition, particularly in the face of threats posed by climate change.
“The government has put in place the right policies that promote food security and nutrition, for example, the nutrition security policy and agricultural policy which the ministry is working towards its finalisation.
“The ministry has embarked on various strategies such as irrigation rehabilitation and development, water harvesting, promotion of climate smart agricultural technologies,” said Minister Shiri.
The occasion saw Valley Irrigation Scheme receiving prize money of US$1 000 and agriculture inputs for being the best performing facility in the province while Jalukanga and Siwazi Irrigation Schemes came second and third respectively.