Zimbabwe is now moving on to study the farming production that exists in the country after the land reform program as stakeholders met for the Analysis and Prioritization of Agriculture Value Chain inception report workshop in Harare yesterday.
Speaking during the work of the study to be done, Technoserve team leader, William Zirebwa said that Zimbabwe cannot compete regionally at the moment due to high costs of living.
“After the land reform things changed, some of the industries that were dependent on agriculture started importing,” said Zirebwa.
“Its sad when Zimbabwe is importing tomatoes, its sad when Zimbabwe is importing potatoes”.
A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture at the inception workshop, Director Mr Mbwenje said the study that will cover two agricultural corridors is of importance to the government.
“The study that we are looking at will help the ministry, will help the government profile agricultural investment,” Mbwenje said.
“As government we approached the AfDB (Africa Development Bank) to carry out this analytical research”.
The corridors to be covered include Plumtree-Harare-Forbes Border Post and the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu.
Zimbabwe’s land reform had some negative impacts on agriculture as the new black peasants who took farms from the white farmers were not experienced. The country which was once referred as the breadbasket of Africa began to import more agricultural goods as farming production decreased.
“After 2000, new and old citrus plantations were removed, destroyed or neglected,” states the inception report gathered by Technoserve as secondary data.
President Emerson Mnangagwa on the inaugural speech said that the land reform program is “irreversible”.
The workshop was also attended by farmers, private sector AfDB among other players in the agricultural sector.
Technoserve, which is contracted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development presented the findings during the workshop.