President Mnangagwa Calls for Urgent Investment in Irrigation to Combat Climate Change

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Business, Health, Local News, Wheather | 0 comments

President Mnangagwa Calls for Urgent Investment in Irrigation to Combat Climate Change

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has issued a rallying cry for increased investment in irrigation infrastructure and technology, emphasizing the urgent need to combat the effects of climate change on the country’s agricultural sector. Speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe Irrigation Investment Conference in Harare on July 5th, 2024, President Mnangagwa stressed the importance of public-private partnerships to achieve food security and economic growth.

“The theme of this Conference; ‘Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable and Structured Irrigation Financing to Deliver Food Security; Everywhere, Every Day,’ underscores the urgency with which we must approach the development of innovative funding solutions and investment for irrigation in agriculture,” stated President Mnangagwa.

The President highlighted the devastating impact of the recent drought, which he described as one of the worst in 43 years, and the ongoing challenges posed by Western sanctions. He emphasized the need to “think outside the box” to mitigate the risks of climate change and ensure the nation’s food security.

President Mnangagwa outlined several initiatives undertaken by his administration, including the Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Agenda, which has seen significant expansion of water harvesting and irrigation development programs. He highlighted the construction of numerous high-impact dams across the country, which are expected to contribute to increased agricultural production, food security, and broader economic growth.

“The total hectarage under irrigation has, between 2019 and 2024, increased by 24 percent. This represents the fastest irrigation development phase since the attainment of our independence, and further gives a synopsis of the immense potential of what is possible with additional investments,” President Mnangagwa stated.

He further emphasized the success of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa program, which has led to unprecedented harvests of maize and other traditional grains, while simultaneously building climate change mitigation and adaptation resilience across communities.

President Mnangagwa extended an open invitation to investors and partners for the development of additional land for irrigation purposes around new dams for cereal production, high-value crops, and pastures. He also highlighted the potential for sustainable partnerships in utilizing underground water resources for the holistic socio-economic development of Zimbabwe and the region.

“Under the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’, my Government will continue to foster a conducive business environment to facilitate private sector-led irrigation development and economic growth,” President Mnangagwa assured investors.

The President concluded his address by calling for a united effort to address the challenges posed by climate change, emphasizing that food security is a shared responsibility. He urged stakeholders to invest, partner, and collaborate to scale up irrigation development, efficient water resource management, and agriculture-led industrialization.

“By pulling together and sweating our diverse financial resources, ‘we can build and secure the future, today,'” President Mnangagwa concluded.

The Zimbabwe Irrigation Investment Conference is expected to provide a platform for farmers, experts, government officials, and private sector representatives to discuss and implement strategies for sustainable irrigation development, ultimately contributing to the country’s food security and economic prosperity.