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Zimbabwe should start embracing agrobusiness as priority of turning around the economy

15 Nov 2018 at 14:02hrs | Views
Agriculture have to be in the centre stage in plans for the revival of Zimbabwe's ailing economy. Getting agriculture moving in Zimbabwe is a big task. The radical land reform of 2000 has left many outstanding challenges; not least the importance of compensating former farm owners. But the biggest challenge is that, with new ownership patterns, the agricultural sector has a much more diffuse base.

Today there are many small to medium sized farms, rather than a few major players. Do we have production in all these farms ? The truth is that Zimbabwe economy should be centred on agribusiness. Zimbabwe's arable land surface is relatively small compared to major food producers in Africa, but its agriculture was rather well performing from 1961 to 2001 (up to 10% of African maize production in 1985).

There are five natural regions that make up the agriculture of Zimbabwe. The first three regions are used for producing crops. Most maize and staple food was produced by small scale communal farms, while larger commercial farms focused on cash crops like tobacco, paprika, fruits, flowers and beef exports, providing much needed foreign currencies for imports. Zimbabwe tobacco sector is the largest grower of tobacco in Africa, and the 6th largest in the world.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's leading agricultural export and one of its main sources of foreign exchange. 54% of Zimbabwe's tobacco exports were sold to China in 2015.Since land reform began in 2000, most of the white-owned commercial tobacco farms have been seized by the government and redistributed to small-scale black farmers. Production of tobacco was disrupted, and the harvest fell by 79% between 2000 and 2008. However, the industry recovered after the contract system was introduced in 2008. In 2014, Zimbabwe produced 217 million kg of tobacco, the third largest crop on record. We need value addition in agriculture.

As a nation need to be serious in agriculture . Vakatora minda rimai/abathatha indlabathi sebenzani . The country can't continue begging all the time . How much forex are we using to buy wheat , maize ,potatoes etc ? The root cause is back in 2000 . The land reform was a disaster . It was never done in a holistic and professional way to demonstrate we are in era of civilisation .

The issue is haunting the progress of our agribusiness. The new owners of farms majority of them don't have the basic training in agriculture. We can't be proud of being owners of land while languishing in poverty. We depend on other nations for our food consumption .

How many have multiple farms lying idle ? Some took loans from banks to boost the farming but never did anything but misused the funds for personal benefits. What happened to agriculture mechanization? Brilliant policies in paper have come and gone but implementation zero and misused of appropriate resources . Red tape bureaucracy was center stage on land reform . Revisit on land reform is a mandatory . Failure to resolve it amicable after thirty years the issue can revisit our country as our children children will start to fight each other again over land . There is a farmer in SA called ZZTwo has done wonders in farming down Limpopo . He is able to supply the whole South Africa with tomatoes. For how long would be the Government and NGOs continues to feed the people in rural areas. The land reform and agribusiness need a revisit .

The politics has lead to where we are today . Majority of our politicians and officials in government are not living the walk they talk . How many have multiple farms? If we don't change the mindset we have in govt or in politics we are far from development. Rwanda is going to introduce inland port as from january 2018 . The port will provide a platform for the traders to boost their accessibility to the global market and enhance their business improvement through one-stop shop. Why don't we introduce our own inland port at the border of beitbridge ? Failure to take holistic approach the nation will not progress. Let us revive our agriculture . Let's have a govt policy in agriculture and an initiative which is not political but should point to agricultural revolution.

The economy is going to start growing when we start realise the importance of agriculture . No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16,2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies. Main goal for govt : to support massive agro-industrial development all across Zimbabwe. When that happens, Zimbabwe will have taken its rightful place as a global powerhouse in food production. It could well also be feeding the Africa and the world. At this point the economic transformation that we are all working for will be complete if we in agriculture. We need agriculturalists who are innovative.

A unique agricultural research station is needed to work with the farmers from all regions to develop strains of crops best suited to our climate, water resources, and soil conditions, and test new techniques from growth.The mining and manufacturing are secondary industries . The primary industry is agriculture.

Political bootlicking has killed the progress of the country as most of things where centred on political affiliation / whom do you know in government in terms of seniority. I believe land reform doesn't need color,race and tribe but have to be the son and daughter of the soil .

Zimbabwe need to be innovative and utilise land . Poverty is an enemy to progress and well being of our citizens . Few farmers are utilising the land they have for farming . Some are leasing the farms to the same white people they seized those farms and you will see the same people want to be in every sector of economy .We can't rebuild our country as long greedy people are in charge in all economical platforms of the country . Integrity is answer to revival of our economy .We need to work not milking the coffers of the government and not abuse tenderpreneurship concept.

Zimbabwe to progress need to break the system where some politicians and govt senior officials abuse the office as they award each other the tenders without following procedures and to make things worse majority of them don't deliver if given those tenders . How much government funds have been abused and never been accounted ?To my suprise majority they steal government funds to buy mansions / open offshores accounts in developed countries but those developed countries come and plunge our resources to continue developing their countries and never partake in social development in our country. Typical Zimbabwean mentality must die and embrace true patriotism . Failure to change mindset especially our policy makers we will never go anywhere while our neighboring countries are progressing . We need to break the " I don't care attitude mentality" .

Some politicians and senior government officials are in control in business and it is hard for some upcoming entrepreneurs to penetrate as the system will frustrate them until they give up . May be if we were partaken in liberation struggle our voices were going to be heard. But God has his plans we were born after which is nature and evolution. To access land it is bit trick to many youths who have passion in farming . It is not about political affiliation but it is about rebuilding Zimbabwe and our future generation.

In Israel technological innovations are, making them impactful in broadening of perspective desert agriculture as one of their country's greatest successes . Agronomists and plant scientists have made incredible progress in understanding what crops need in order to flourish. Now In Zimbabwe, we need to develop a similar understanding of what farmers need in order to flourish. Without such an understanding, even the most revolutionary technologies will likely remain unused by the hundreds of millions of smallholders who grow Zimbabwe's food.Take drip irrigation, the most famous Israeli agricultural technology. Drip irrigation is proven to deliver the dual benefit of increased production and reduced water, fertilizer and herbicide requirements, exactly what so many Africa farmers need. Africa be innovative and utilise your land and feed your people .

Enos Denhere is an Entrepreneur ,Leadership Success Coach , Mentor , Territory Business Advisory and Pastor.Enos welcomes Business Organizations/investors interested to do business in Zimbabwe,South Africa ,Zambia and entire Africa.He is interested to attend fully funded business /nation building in Africa and abroad. Email Call /App +263773894975

Source - Enos Denhere
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