vp joice mujuru2 29.09.10.jpgVice President Joice Mujuru has called on the private sector to venture into partnerships with farmers as a way to assist the government in its drive to boost agricultural production.

In a speech read on her behalf by the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Cde Sylvester Nguni, Vice President Mujuru said it was high time the private sector appreciates that land reform is a reality that shall be cherished by generations to come, hence the need for partnerships that will see the full revival of the agricultural sector.

Cde Mujuru said the world’s agricultural sector is under serious transformation due to the global climatic change.

She  urged the private sector to complement government efforts by educating farmers on the new climatic trends and assisting them with required services.

“As we talk agriculture, the adoption of private-public sector partnerships should not be limited to dams and irrigation schemes only. We need a holistic approach to restore sustainable viability in agriculture,” she said.

Vice President Mujuru also urged farming organisations to organise their members in groups as a way to enhance access to loans from banks in a bid to deal with challenges that have hampered the current winter wheat cropping season.

Speaking on the sidelines of the same occasion, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACA) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ishmael Sunga said the southern region requires a holistic policy framework that protects all stakeholders involved in farming if the region is to sustain viability in the industry.

“We need policies that protect primary producers up to marketing. They might come in as legislative framework. The problems in southern African countries are all the same. Mostly it’s the issue of farmers being disgruntled by the pricing mechanisms,” Mr Sunga said.

The 2-day ZFU 70th Annual Congress was attended by top government officials, the private sector, local and regional farmer organisations.