Agriculture remains the mainstay to the economy: President

by | May 1, 2021 | Business, Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

Climate change remains a serious threat to the nation’s food production and therefore efforts to modernise and climate proof agricultural production systems are urgent and important.

This was said by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa at the launch of the Agricultural Finance Corporation Holdings (AFC) and its subsidiaries which are AFC Land Bank, AFC Insurance Company, AFC Leasing Company and AFC Commercial Bank.

AFC Holdings, a remodelled version of the former Agribank, was urged to provide diversified and inclusive financial services to all farmers regardless of size, to propel the ongoing agriculture revolution.
The new institution is mandated to close the financing gap created by the imposition of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The AFC launch comes at a time when all policies are being aligned to support agricultural transformation in line with the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030.
The collective focus is now being directed to production, productivity, profitability and sustainability given the conclusion of the land reform programme

The Land and Development Bank which has an infrastructural development mandate was challenged by President Mnangagwa to provide long term funding for water harvesting infrastructure and irrigation development. The funding is to complement Government’s ongoing accelerated National Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development.

The Insurance Company must see farmers being able to access affordable financial products and services. The products must be targeted at mitigating effects of global warming for resilient and sustainable agriculture.

Meanwhile mechanisation and adequate availability of farm equipment must see the Leasing Company expand its presence countrywide to offer farmers requisite services.
“The Leasing Company must be flexible to embrace contemporary home grown innovations and technologies which enhance production, productivity and profitability for the various segments of farmers,” said President Mnangagwa.

Meanwhile farmers who benefit from AFC funding facilities must embark on viable projects across the agricultural value chain. The focus must be on growing exports, agro-industrialisation and the penetration of global value chains.