US$13,75B Industry By 2025 Achievable – Masuka

Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka, has said Government expects the agriculture sector to grow to a US$13,75 billion industry by 2025 after the sector hit the initial target of US$8,2 billion in 2021, underpinned by improved productivity and production across all sub-sectors.

In an exclusive interview with TechnoMag, Minister Masuka said the growth was driven by the successful implementation of the Agriculture Recovery and Growth Plan that was launched in 2020 to promote food security, import substitution, diversified exports, and value addition, among others.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s move of making sure the Minister was away from politics was now paying dividends as the Minister sorely focuses on agriculture and has made him the most successful Minister in cabinet after taking on the buck following the death of his predecessor, the late Retired Air Chief Marshall Perence Shiri, who took over the realms of agriculture following the inception of the Second Republic.

Masuka told this publication that, “US$8,2 billion initial target was surpassed in 2021, as agriculture grew to an average of six percent. Last year, the sector was estimated to register a 9,7 percent growth rate.”

A cocktail of Government and private sector interventions in the grain sector, underpinned the ministry’s achievements spiking maize output for example by 200 percent to 2,3 million tonnes last year from 780 000 tonnes in 2019.

Dr Masuka has since deployed a team of 60 experts to assess and inspect agriculture sector performance countrywide as part of implementation of the Agriculture Food Systems and Rural Transformation Strategy.

Masuka’s strategy is a five-year programme launched in 2019 with a view to boost Zimbabwe’s food production.

Agriculture Food Systems and Rural Transformation Strategy is positioned to create a robust agriculture sector that will turnaround the economy and achieve food and nutrition security in the face of increasing population and climate change.

Ross Moyo

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