(The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwe has been urged to accelerate adaptation to climate-smart agriculture in order to boost economic growth.
Speaking at a webinar on Investment Priorities for Climate-Smart Agriculture in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe Mukami Kariuki said climate change is one of the major challenges impacting agriculture production in Zimbabwe.
“Without effective adaptation, the impacts of climate change on the sector could cause a massive reduction in agricultural production and significant damage to Zimbabwe’s economy at large,” said Kariuki.
She said climate-smart agricultural investments and policy actions are central to building a resilient agricultural sector.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, contributing up to 18 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The sector provides employment and income to more than 60 percent of the country’s population, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
To help the country with adaptation, the World Bank has provided technical support to the Zimbabwe government to develop a Climate Smart Agriculture Investment Plan and a Public Expenditure Review on Agriculture.
Speaking at the same event, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Anxious Masuka said Zimbabwe is already pursuing a selection of climate-smart agriculture adaptations through Pfumvudza which includes conservation agriculture practices such as zero tillage, crop rotation and mulching.
“Improving the productivity of the sector goes hand in hand with creating an enabling environment in relation to poverty and gender issues, water access and land tenure security.
“Addressing these foundational issues is necessary to move to a more productive, resilient and low emissions agriculture sector that benefits millions of farmers,” he said.
In August, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched a new agriculture and food systems transformation strategy which seeks to achieve an 8.2 billion U.S. dollar agriculture industry by 2025.