Vice President Retired General Constantino Chiwenga has challenged the private sector to come up with comprehensive and realistic proposals to help government revitalise the entire agricultural value chain from field to industry and exports. 

Retired General Chiwenga, who was guest of honour at the 6th annual Agri-Business Conference held at the ongoing Harare Agricultural Show implored captains of industry to embrace the new dispensation and craft policies which are realistic and in line with the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra so as to revive agriculture which is the mainstay of the economy.

“We must work as a nation to make Zimbabwe a middle income economy by 2030. This requires concerted efforts by all stakeholders to bring to fruition the realisation of this noble aspiration, to realise this government is committed to develop agriculture, which is a key sector envisaged to significantly contribute towards the attainment of vision 2030,” he said.

Some key institutions like that the Agriculture Marketing Authority and the financial sector will be reformed to address marketing challenges faced by farmers while the private sector should fully enter into contract farming to complement government’s command agriculture programmes which have brought food security.

“Government is aware of the pricing challenges being experienced by many of the agro input suppliers who are charging farmers depending on the mode of payment. That is a wave that has engulfed the whole economy, therefore government will work on financial sector reforms with all stakeholders to stabilise the situation,” noted the vice president.

The agri-business conference attracted captains of industry, farming organisations’ leaders, government officials and leaders in the financial sector, among others, to share ideas on how best to revive agriculture which is the backbone of the economy.