Sun, 24 Oct 2021

HARARE, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government is inviting agribusinesses and private players who depend on raw materials from the agriculture sector to enter into production and marketing contracts with farmers to boost food security and create employment.

The aim is to encourage local sourcing of raw materials and support growth of the agricultural sector, while also enabling contractors to ring-fence their production requirements, the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) said in a statement on Sunday.

The AMA called on contractors to secure at least 40 percent of their annual raw material requirements through contracting growers, noting that contractors are required in the production of maize, soya bean, sorghum, sunflower, sesame and cotton crops.

It said it has since registered farmers into production clusters whom contractors can utilize for the forthcoming cropping season.

The Zimbabwean government last year launched the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy.

Agriculture is the nerve center of Zimbabwe's economy, contributing between 15 to 18 percent of GDP.

Agriculture performed well during the last season due to good rains, and its continued recovery is expected to anchor Zimbabwe's economic growth going forward.

In the 2020-21 season, Zimbabwe produced about 2.8 million tons of the staple maize crop, a record output in recent years, against national consumption of 1.8 million tons annually.

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