Government’s policy thrust of harnessing the private sector in the agriculture value chain has started bearing fruit.
Under the National Development Strategy One (NDS1), the private sector which relies on agricultural output, has been given a new mandate to produce 40 percent of raw materials for manufacturing and industrial purposes.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr John Basera is optimistic the new strategy will be a game changer in the country’s industrial revolution.
We have a new policy which requires that all off takers should take responsibility towards producing the raw materials they use. It is against this background that we expect the private sector to play ball.
Of interest is that some like the grain millers have already come on board on winter wheat production. They have contracted their own hectare and this will go a long way in cutting the import bill if other join forces,he said.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairman, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara expressed confidence the new policy has the potential to create employment and revitalise the local industry.
We are talking of producing raw materials here. There are a lot of spill over’s like more jobs will be created, we can cut the import bill and increase exports, as millers we were targeting over 25 hectares of wheat under the new initiative but over half of that have so far been achieved.
Why should we import staple and other produce in a free country like ours, we believe under the new dispensation this is coming to an end ,said Musarara
The new policy roping in the private sector in agricultural production fits well into the Second Republic’s drive to boost agriculture productivity and reduce the huge import bill by 80 percent, come 2024.