A €40 million Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP) has been launched at a ceremony held at Chibero College in Norton this Tuesday.

The programme targets five key livestock value chains focussing on beef, dairy, poultry, piggery and goats.

EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Timo Olkkonen said the objective of the programme is to reduce risk perception in the livestock sector and improve competitiveness in the market.

“Our objective is that this investment amounting to €45 million will reduce risk perception in the livestock sector and will encourage investment which will improve productivity and competitiveness in the domestic and regional markets,” he said.

Ambassador Timo Olkkonen

Guest of honour at the launch, the Minister of State for Mashonaland West Province, Cde Mary Mliswa pledged the government’s commitment in addressing weaknesses and gaps in the livestock sector through closer cooperation with the ZAGP.

“The sector which is key to national food production has witnessed an increase in meat, eggs, milk and poultry production. The government will work closely with ZAGP to address weaknesses and gaps that have prevented the sector from reaching its full potential,” she said.

ZAGP Technical Assistance Team Leader, Neil Orchardson said the programme will enhance profitability for livestock farmers by providing competitive market linkages.

The EU ranks agriculture as one of the key sectors to Zimbabwe’s future development and prosperity.