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12 Matabeleland dams set for fisheries programme – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
MATABELELAND fish farmers are set to benefit from the Government’s fisheries programme after 12 dams from the region were targeted for the Presidential Fisheries Programme that will involve 50 000 farmers across the country as the nation seeks to have a massive 60 million fingerlings by 2025.

The targeted dams so far are in Insiza, Bulilima, Umguza, Hwange, Binga, Lupane, Bubi and Tsholotsho districts with indications that other water bodies in the region will also be included.

The region already has a decent fish farming community with slightly more than 20 farmers, according to former president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, Mr Donald Khumalo. Mr Khumalo also has a fish farming project at his Umguza farm.

Under the Presidential Fisheries Programme, Government will identify 1 200 dams and water bodies that will each receive 50 000 fingerlings in an effort to increase the national fish output from just under 16 000 tonnes per year in the 2021/22 farming season to 20 000 tonnes in the 2022/23 farming season as the Second Republic intensifies its efforts of achieving a US$8,2 billion agriculture industry economy, contributing 20 percent of GDP by 2025.

Government is putting together dam management committees to render technical support to households participating in the programme. These committees will run the day-to-day operations at the respective dams and water bodies to ensure maximum utilisation. The programme is targeting both domestic and commercial consumption.

Participating households are expected to have sex reversed fingerlings that will be harvested later. Government is also looking at setting up processing plants or companies within the respective provinces especially in hotspots where there is a lot of fish production with farmers harvesting and processing them into fillet and other products. The programme will lead to fulfilment of the Vision 2030 objectives that include import substitution through improved food and nutritional security, employment creation and improved incomes.

“As a region we were asked to submit dams for consideration under the programme and the idea is to have all perennial dams (those that do not dry up) in the region to be under this project,” said acting agricultural rural development and advisory services director for Matabeleland North and Bulawayo provinces Mr Dumisani Nyoni.

Mr Khumalo expressed excitement on the move by the Government to come up with the fisheries programme as farmers in the region were being shortchanged by bogus fingerlings suppliers who were supplying poor quality fingerlings.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aquaculture in Zimbabwe is struggling to reach its full potential despite the technical progress. FAO notes that fish is a very important economic product in Zimbabwe as a source of income, livelihood and employment creation yet the fisheries and aquaculture sectors have not been able to reach their full potential in terms of utilising the growth opportunities and downstream benefits to the communities. Per capita fish consumption in the country is 2,6 kg, well below the average in other Southern African states whose per capita consumption is 6kg.

Workers rehabilitate one of the fish ponds

The fisheries project comes soon after year 2022 was declared the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture by the United Nations General Assembly.

Mr Khumalo said the Government programme will uplift farmers.

“We have fish farmers here in Matabeleland but most were not harvesting to their expectations largely because of some unscrupulous individuals who were supplying substandard fingerlings that were not giving the expected yields. Fish farmers are therefore extremely excited by the Government’s move on the Presidential Fisheries Programme as it will result in us getting quality fingerlings which will help us contribute towards the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy that seeks to achieve an US$8,5 billion agriculture economy by 2025 and eventually a middle income economy by 2030,” said Mr Khumalo.

Mr Donald Khumalo

He said he has four ponds at his farm with a fish carrying capacity of between 3000-4000 but at the moment the ponds have no aquatic life as he was undertaking some renovations.

“Because of the poor quality of fingerlings we were getting, our profit margins were low. Our target market has largely been supermarkets in Bulawayo but with this exciting development, we will soon be looking beyond Bulawayo,” said Mr Khumalo.

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EXPLAINER | US-Zimbabwe relations and targeted sanctions – News24

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

PHOTO: Jekesai Njikizana, AFP

  • Eighty-three individuals and 37 entities are designated under the Zimbabwe sanctions programme.
  • The long-held argument by the ruling party is that the sanctions negatively affect trade and investment.
  • But the opposition says the ruling party is using the sanctions as an excuse for political failures.

African leaders have called for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by a law the United States Congress passed in 2001, during late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s regime.

At the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and African Union chairperson Macky Sall, who is also the president of Senegal, spoke about the need to remove the restrictions imposed by the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zedera).

Over the past three years, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has marked 25 October as Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Day, hosting solidarity marches in cities across the region.

However, the sanctions in Zimbabwe have divided opinion.

READ | US stands firm over sanctions on ‘increasingly repressive’ Zimbabwe despite lobbying by Ramaphosa

Members of the ruling party claim the restrictive measures have a direct effect on ordinary civilians and frustrate policy space for the government’s development plans.

But the opposition, which is accused of calling for sanctions on the country, feels the ruling party is using the sanctions as an excuse for its political failures and for political mileage.

According to the US Embassy in Zimbabwe, the sanctions are “targeted financial sanctions against select members of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite for undermining democratic processes, abusing human rights or facilitating corruption”.

Man with makeshift cart to transport water

Tap water supply is unreliable in Chitungwiza in Harare. Some people now make a living carrying water for residents.

GroundUp Joseph Chirume, GroundUp

Thus, the US has, in the past, made it clear that it supports Zimbabweans’ push for the restoration of democracy, respect for human rights and better governance, as defined in the country’s 2013 constitution.

The US Embassy argues that “sanctioned members of the ruling elite continue to undermine Zimbabwe’s democratic processes and institutions, commit human rights abuses related to repression, and engage in corruption.

“For these reasons, successive administrations have renewed the sanctions against those who continue to undercut Zimbabwe’s democracy.”

The long-held argument by the ruling party is that sanctions negatively affect trade and investment.

However, the US says that’s not true.

“US sanctions against the ruling elite do not block trade and investment with non-sanctioned individuals and entities. At present, 83 individuals and 37 entities are designated under the Zimbabwe sanctions programme,” Molly Phee, US State Department Assistant Secretary for African Affairs argued in an op-ed in March this year.

Data shows that trade between Zimbabwe and the US stands well above R1.4 billion and that as of last year, there was a US Department of Commerce-supported trade mission to Zimbabwe.

In comparison, this is more than Zimbabwe’s export receipts to Botswana (R651 million) and exports to Zambia (R1.2 billion) according to figures from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

Since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the US has been the single-biggest donor country.

Informal traders line the road that links Bindura

Informal traders line the road that links Bindura Town and the long-haul bus terminus. Among them are Zimbabweans who have returned from South Africa.

GroundUp Joseph Chirume, GroundUp

It accounts for R59.5 billion, covering health, humanitarian and development assistance, such as agriculture and livelihood sustainability.

For the Covid-19 pandemic, the US provided more than R816 million in support.

The US argues that for sanctions to be removed, “the Mnangagwa government can show the world that its citizens live in a safe, prosperous, equitable country regardless of their political views”.

“Let all Zimbabweans feel free to offer their fullest potential and work to build a stronger, more prosperous and more inclusive society.”

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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R1,3 million windfall for Gwanda irrigation scheme – The Herald

The Herald

Elton Manguwo

SMALLHOLDER farmers at Sebasa Irrigation Scheme in Gwanda have started enjoying benefits from the Smallholder Irrigation Rehabilitation Programme after raking in an income of R1, 3 million from their integrated farming operations in seven months.

As calls for farmers to adopt modern agribusiness practices reach fever pitch, the Sebasa Irrigation Scheme has become the business model the Government is pushing for through the transformation of rural agriculture.

“The scheme, which is equipped with a state of the art solar powered irrigation system and a sand abstraction system is fully operational and functional and farmers are able to produce different crops all year around,” chief director Agricultural Advisory and Rural, Development Services, Professor Obert Jiri observed recently.

Besides being focused on national food security the Government through the irrigation scheme has been able to create a symbiotic relationship with farmers whereby it achieves its production targets whilst the farmers are set to benefit from the value chain as the Sebasa irrigation scheme is set to realise six tonnes of wheat benefiting 60 households.

The irrigation scheme’s location right at the outskirts and deep corner of the country envisages and captures the Government’s thrust of inclusive involvement of everyone in the development processes.

“The irrigation scheme is situated a kilometre from the Botswana border and this echoes the President’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind as the nation journeys towards the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030,” stressed Professor Jiri.

Prof Obert Jiri

Sebasa Irrigation Scheme in Ward 24 of Gwanda district was first established in 1968 then rehabilitated in 2021 after several years of inactivity. The 64-hectare scheme has 112 members.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka also stressed that the outcome of these result oriented projects directly impacted and accelerated the attainment of Vision 2030 when he addressed attendees at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) conference in Gweru recently.

In addition, the Ministry has made key interventions such as the formation of the Irrigation Development Alliance to create an enabling environment for accelerated rural agriculture development in the irrigation subspace.

Irrigation development has been identified as a key accelerator towards uplifting people from poverty. With 60 percent of the population residing in the rural areas, the establishment of irrigation schemes will play a pivotal role in boosting agricultural production and maximise productivity.

The Government under the National Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme has commenced the resuscitation of communal irrigation schemes nationwide, which is a key enabler to small-scale farming economies.

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High inputs prices worry farmers – Newsday

MIDLANDS farmers say they are grappling with high costs of production as inputs prices soar ahead of the 2022/23 summer planting season.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) president Abdul Nyathi said: “We are worried that prices of farming inputs remain on the high side as we face the summer season.

“We are engaging government so that the issue can be addressed, and this is for the betterment of farmers and the agriculture industry in general.”

A random survey conducted by Southern Eye in Gweru revealed that the price of a 10kg bag of maize seed ranges from US$30 to US$40 depending on the variety and brand.

Figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency show that the annual inflation rate last month dropped to 106,3% from a high of 285% in July.

But the Food and Agriculture Organisation last week adjudged Zimbabwe as the worst country in the world in terms of food inflation. A World Bank report also said that prices of basic commodities and food in Zimbabwe were very high.

Meanwhile, Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said disease-induced livestock deaths had dropped by 50% owing to the tick grease programme.

Masuka said this while addressing farmers at the just-ended Zimbabwe Farmers Union 82nd congress in Gweru. The most common livestock diseases in Zimbabwe include theileriosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and heartwater.

The Lands and Agriculture minister said the country’s dairy sector grew by 17% this year compared to last year.


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