Government has secured more than US$423 million towards supporting the 2016/2017 agricultural season, a senior government official has said.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) for Zimbabwe (2016-2018), Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said agriculture remains a pivotal strategy for poverty reduction.
“Agriculture is the backborne of Zimbabwe’s economic development. The land Reform program empowered the previously marginalised poor households and created opportunities for the majority of the population.
“In this regard agriculture remains potentially the anchor for poverty reduction given the abundance of arable land,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said the fund‘s main objective is to ensure self-sufficiency in food security in the event that the country receives normal rains.
Minister Chinamsa said poverty eradication has always been the top priority of Government‘s overall policy objective.
“Poverty eradication strategies and interventions, have always been embedded in all the economic reform programmes government has been implementing since the attainment of Independence in 1980.
“While over the years government has succeeded in halving the population in extreme poverty from 44 percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2012, however, poverty levels as measured by the Total Consumption Poverty Line has remained high at over 70 percent,” said Minister Chinamasa.
The I-PRSP stems from the country’s development blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), 2013 – 2018 and facilitates the fulfilment of one of the central objectives of ZimAsset of fighting poverty and ensuring inclusive growth in Zimbabwe, also consistent with the blue print’s Vision: “Towards an Empowered Society and a Growing Economy.
The I-PSRP focuses on specific short term measures but with long term impact on the livelihoods of the population, in particular vulnerable segments of our society.
Poverty reduction strategies were clustered under seven pillars which include agriculture productivity and rural food security, social sectors, private sector, infrastructure, environment and climate change among other pillars.