The government of Zimbabwe through the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), is inviting agribusinesses and private players who depend on raw materials from the agriculture sector to enter into production and marketing contracts with farmers to boost food security and create employment.
The aim is to encourage local sourcing of raw materials and support the growth of the agricultural sector, while also enabling contractors to ring-fence their production requirements. The AMA is calling on contractors to secure at least 40% of their annual raw material requirements through contracting growers, noting that contractors are required in the production of maize, soya bean, sorghum, sunflower, sesame, and cotton crops.
It said it has since registered farmers into production clusters that contractors can utilize for the forthcoming cropping season. The Zimbabwean government last year launched the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy.
Agriculture sector in Zimbabwe
Agriculture is the nerve center of Zimbabwe’s economy, contributing between 15 to 18% of GDP. Agriculture performed well during the last season due to good rains, and its continued recovery is expected to anchor Zimbabwe’s economic growth going forward.
Agriculture in Zimbabwe is on an upswing and young people are the driving force. For example, the country is set to harvest 2.8 million tons of maize this year, triple the 2020 harvest, and making it the highest output in 20 years.
The anticipated 2021 bumper harvest should finally ensure food surplus in Zimbabwe. The government’s pro-farming mindset is anchored in a programme called “Pfumvudza” (meaning “Master Farmers’ Revolution”) through which it provides financing subsidies to young farmers.