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‘Trees, forests essential to achieve Vision 2030’ – The Herald

‘Trees, forests essential to achieve Vision 2030’

Peter Matika Bulawayo Bureau

FIRST Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa has highlighted the vital and crucial role that trees and forests play in achieving Vision 2030. She said these natural resources are not only important for the ecological balance but also for the socio-economic development of the country.

Dr Mnangagwa who is also the environment patron, said this yesterday in Matabeleland North province at a pre-National Tree Planting Day event that was held at Elitsheni Primary School in Bubi district. This year’s exercise is running under the theme: “Trees and Forests for Ecosystems Restoration and improved Livelihood.”

Dr Mnangagwa said trees and forests are some of the natural resources that are critical for the country to realise Vision 2030.

She said as environment patron, it was her duty to remind and encourage Zimbabweans about the importance of Tree Planting and to exhort the nation to continue to care and manage the trees that have already been planted.

The First Lady was represented by Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Richard Moyo.

“My beloved citizens we are all in agreement that trees and forests are important through products and services that we get for our livelihoods. Imagine how life would be in a country without any plant forms in their various categories and uses. What immediately comes to mind is that there would be no oxygen, no timber, no wildlife responsible for boosting tourism, no agriculture and in essence no survival of living organisms including human beings,” said Amai Mnangagwa.

She said trees act as the first line of defence against the vagaries of climate change effects as they provide several climate proofing attributes. Amai Mnangagwa also said the advent of smart cities and green cities approach to urban development demands that urban forestry be considered as a component in land use planning.

She said during the drought periods induced by climate change, people in different parts of the country turn to natural resources for the upkeep of their livelihoods. Dr Mnangagwa said people from the rural areas collect wild fruits and sell them in towns like Bulawayo and Harare in order to generate income to fend for their families.

“Forests are habitats for wildlife and gardens or orchards of indigenous medicines. Trees control rain run-off and as a consequence curb soil erosion and stop siltation that reduces water holding capacities of our rivers and dams. Firewood in the rural areas is collected from forests. Sometimes our urban households and growth points do experience power shortages and some newly established suburbs are yet to be connected to the power grid, causing the residents to fall back on firewood as a source of fuel for domestic energy,” said Dr Mnangagwa.

She said while in some instances people in rural areas planted trees for firewood and livestock fodder, in urban areas people planted trees for fruit, ornamentals, hedges and windbreaks to protect infrastructure.

The First Lady, who is also Zanu PF Secretary for Environment and Tourism, said the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders involved in environmental issues have embarked on legislative reviews aimed at strengthening them, encouraging conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources to enhance livelihoods among communities.

“The thrust includes training communities on how to raise seedlings in nurseries, woodland management on strategic urban pockets of forests, wild land, fire protection, tree planting and agroforestry schemes,” Dr Mnangagwa said.

She highlighted the need to curb rampant tree cutting especially in urban areas saying the results are undesirable.

“Wanton tree cutting has undesirable effects that include blown out rooftops. Tree cutting for firewood selling or making of charcoal is against the law. If there is a need to cut trees at our plots or surroundings we should inform the Forestry Commission together with council officials, who will guide us on proper and lawful ways of trimming and harvesting tree products,” said Amai Mnangagwa.

Hundreds of villagers converged at the school where they were tutored on the importance of tree conservation and tree planting.

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Breaking news – Chronicle

Delegates arrive for climate change Indaba (COP28) in Dubai

Leonard Ncube in the United Arab Emirates

 DELEGATES have started trickling into the Dubai Expo Centre for the 28th Conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) that is starting today until 12 December 2023.

The Zimbabwe pavilion is set and ministers are expected to visit the venue. Zimbabwe is taking strides in climate action for a green future. This is in line with the country’s Vision 2030 for an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 through people-centric, participatory development and climate action programmes.

 The country is taking the climate-proofed agriculture model, Pfumvudza/Intwasa to the COP28 to show the world strides made in ensuring sustainable use of land for food nutrition. The country is also driving towards a pro-people, win-win beneficiation and just carbon credits initiatives and attainment of Environmental Sustainability through community-driven conservation models and unlocking community development through devolved sustainable climate economies.

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Roundup: Zimbabwean farmers tackle El Nino draught with diverse … – Xinhua

People deal with harvested wheat at a farm in Chegutu, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, Oct. 31, 2022. (Photo by Shaun Jusa/Xinhua)

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network has already painted a gloomy outlook for the season, saying that the El Nino event would lead to rainfall deficits affecting the 2024 harvests, leaving many people vulnerable to food insecurity.

HARARE, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — Zimbabwean farmers, especially those dependent on rain-fed agriculture, are increasingly worried about delayed and erratic rains which have disrupted planting for the 2023-24 season in much of the country.

Some of those who had planted early are already counting their losses, with many of them hoping to replant, but this time they prefer short-season varieties if good rains fall soon.

The Southern Africa region as a whole is expected to experience normal to below normal rains this season as a result of the El Nino event, but the delay in rainfalls has thrown many farmers off the rails.

Urban farmer Christopher Chizinga said his maize crop, planted on a wetland northwest of the city, had already failed, and he would be replanting if the rain came soon.

“This season has been terrible. Usually, I would have already finished weeding and applying the first round of top-dressing fertilizer by now, but the heavens have not been kind to us,” he told Xinhua Wednesday.

Echoing Chizinga, Wilson Samaita from Marondera District of Mashonaland East Province, said most of the early planted crops in his fields had wilted and farmers would have to replant.

“It’s very sad. Many of those who planted early intending to take advantage of the first rains will have to replant,” he said.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network has already painted a gloomy outlook for the season, saying that the El Nino event would lead to rainfall deficits affecting the 2024 harvests, leaving many people vulnerable to food insecurity.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union Secretary General Paul Zakariya said that timely and area-specific weather forecast information is critical for farmers to plan with agility. He also suggested farmers diversify their crops and incorporate local varieties of drought-tolerant species, such as adding sorghum and millet to maize and adding sunflower and groundnuts to soybeans.

Chief agronomist in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Rutendo Nhongonhema, encouraged farmers under the government-initiated climate-proof agriculture program to opt for short-season varieties as the planting season had since advanced.

“My appeal to farmers at the moment is that … to go for short season varieties because the planting season has progressed with no rains,” she told state news agency New Ziana.

In the year 2020, the Government of Zimbabwe unveiled a comprehensive seven-year project valued at 47 million U.S. dollars in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It aims to fortify the climate resilience of marginalized communities in the southern region of Zimbabwe.

As the project rolls out, more than 221,000 farmers, with over half of them being women, have received enhanced strains of cereal crops, including sorghum and pearl millet, to adapt to climate change.

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Vendors facilitate value addition for smallholder farmers – NewsDay

In an interview with paper (NewsDay Farming), BVTA monitoring and evaluation officer Langton Moyo said it was essential for small holder farmers to learn ways to increase profitability in the business.

THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) facilitated training of small-holder farmers on value addition and product diversification to help them get more value from their produce.

The training was done at a BVTA workshop where small-holder farmers were equipped with ways to increase the value of their products to attain greater profits.

In an interview with paper (NewsDay Farming), BVTA monitoring and evaluation officer Langton Moyo said it was essential for small holder farmers to learn ways to increase profitability in the business.

“We saw that it was very essential for smallholder farmers to learn all the right skills in order to properly run their businesses to facilitate the attainment of maximum benefits,” Moyo said.

“They were provided with the knowledge and skills needed to increase the value of their products, which can lead to increased profits.”

The workshop was held on the heels of the engagement rate and the area of land prepared for the farming still being relatively low as some farmers wait for an effective start of the rainy season.

The delay is being caused by the anticipation of El Niño-induced below-average rainfall.

Further, crop inputs, mainly seeds and fertilisers, while available on the market these items are priced well above the affordability of farmers.

Hence, farmers are being pushed to maximise the returns on the crops already planted.

One way that is being done, however, is through farmers withholding their grain in anticipation of the El Niño-induced drought to hike the prices of their goods. This is because if there is a shortage of grain, prices will likely rise leading to farmers making a killing off their goods.

Moyo said the value addition training would help smallholder farmers to effectively come up with strategies to ensure survival in the market, amid fluctuating prices.

“Value addition training will help farmers to know ways of diversifying their income streams and reduce their vulnerability to price fluctuations in the market and also by adding value to their products, farmers can reduce post-harvest losses and improve the shelf-life of their products,” Moyo said.

“More so, value addition trainings empowered farmers to be able to make informed decisions about their businesses, leading to long-term sustainability.”

BVTA executive director Michael Ndiweni said small holder farmers were taking up the initiative of being suppliers of fresh produce to the Nkulumane fruit and veg market in Bulawayo.

The project, Ndiweni continued, was being spearheaded by the Local Government and Public Works ministry under the Building Urban Resilience in Zimbabwe through creating Safe Markets and Green Solutions programme.

“Farmers are welcoming the project because it is going to help to deal with a lot disenfranchising that usually happens in private markets where they pricing of their products is not determined by them but by private market owners, therefore, is a public market and at least they will be in control of the pricing of their own goods,” he said.

Farmers are failing get paid timeously for their produce with government vowing to expedite those payments.

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