Government of Zimbabwe’s Command Agriculture is a unique national food security intervention that puts the country in the lead in implementing SADC and African Union programmes, South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mphakama Mbete stated. He said the initiative would capacitate commercial farmers to join the lucrative agricultural value chain processing market. Since the launch of the programme recently, over 500 farmers have applied to take part in the scheme while more applications are still pouring in.
At least 2 000 farmers working on about 400 000 hectares of land are expected to participate in the scheme, which is crystallised by a performance contract subsisting over three consecutive growing seasons. It comes as Government seeks to stem national food insecurity, which now stands at 42% from around 12% in 2011.
The programme seeks to produce two million tons of maize with identified farmers being given inputs, irrigation and mechanised equipment for optimal yields. SADC is implementing the Multi-Country Agricultural Productivity Programme that seeks to strengthen the key pillars of NEPAD such as technology development and dissemination and creating linkages.
The Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme being spearheaded by the African Union prioritises agriculture as a key instrument to increase food production by at least 6% annually.