Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Settlement, Dr Anxious Masuka yesterday launched the national food systems dialogue where food organisation from all walks of life came together and discussed the nation’s food security.
Speaking during the launch in Harare, Dr Masuka said Zimbabwe communicated with the United Nations its intention to contribute to the Food Systems Summit by convening dialogues at national and sub-national levels.
“The Food Systems Summit Dialogues give an opportunity for key players in agriculture and other sectors that contribute to attainment of sustainable food system to discuss the challenges, opportunities and way forward in building and strengthening Food Systems in Zimbabwe.” He said.
Dr Masuka said the discussion was Bringing together a diversity of stakeholders who will provide an important opportunity for participants to debate, collaborate, and take action towards a better future.
He said the dialogue was vital as it came at a time when the country was facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These dialogues are coming at a time where the nation is grappling with the Covid -19 pandemic which in some way has also contributed to the disruption of the food systems in Zimbabwe. This disruption in Global value chains for supply have also given opportunity for localisation of production for which Zimbabwe has taken advantage of as seen from the bumper harvest of 2020 season.” He said.
This year’s dialogue was launched with the theme, “Transforming Production and Food Systems in Zimbabwe.”
The Minister of Agriculture stressed the relevancy of this year’s theme as the country faced food insecurity caused by drought in the past years.
Although the emphasis is on food systems, in Zimbabwe the theme is relevant and appropriate because we have faced perennial food insecurity as a result of inadequate production occasioned by drought and low productivity. Therefore, in the context of this dialogue, Zimbabwe has an opportunity to shape both the production systems and food systems. Dr Masuka said.
Furthermore, the Minister urged the nation to focus on the agricultural progress for Vision 2030.
We need to focus on transforming production systems. In this regard, we should focus on the progress, priorities, concerns and challenges in selected value chains. We should also understand that the land reform process has reshaped the agricultural landscape spurring local economies that could be engines for land transformation and industrialisation for the Vision 2030. Honorable Masuka added.
Organisations present during the dialogue include, United Nations Resident Coordinators, United Nations agencies, Non Government Organisations; Private Sector representatives and Farmers.