Formalising agric sector crucial

27 Feb, 2022 - 00:02 0 Views
Formalising agric sector crucial

The Sunday Mail

Word from the market with AMA

The success of any industry starts with formalised structures. Registration is an important component of formalisation and order. Registration ensures that data is captured and processed into information that is useful for decision-making and policy formulation.

In Zimbabwe, it is the mandate of the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) to register agricultural value chain players or stakeholders which include growers/farmers, contractors, buyers, traders and merchants.

Through registration and provision of returns, stakeholders provide the necessary information that is crucial for policy formulation and planning thus informing the necessary interventions into the agricultural sector.

AMA administers several regulations that require the registration of these value chain players. The Authority’s work also includes the development and facilitation of markets for producers.

Through the national database, market linkages and market development initiatives are then informed.

Linkages are possible where there is formalisation and availability of information. Farming is business and must be treated as such.

The whole thrust is to ensure orderly production and processing in line with the Government’s thrust to ensure market-driven agriculture.

Ultimately the quality of life is improved through smart agricultural practices which dovetail with the country’s Vision 2030 of achieving a “Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Society by 2030”.

Agriculture is among the key economic sectors of Zimbabwe alongside mining, manufacturing and tourism. One of the key National Priorities underpinning the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) is Food and Nutrition Security.

The Government of Zimbabwe is focused on the revival of the agricultural industry through the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy which is an enabler of NDS1.

Such interventions require robust and formalised systems to support the implementation of these economic blueprints if the country is to achieve the set objectives.

Each value chain player is important in the realisation of Vision 2030. It is important, therefore, to ensure that everyone is accounted for through the registration system.

To support the full recovery of the agricultural industry, the Government introduced, and currently runs the climate-proofed and enhanced interventions in the form of the Climate Proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) and the National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme (Command) respectively.

The AMA works with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to ensure the requisite information and statistics are compiled to enable the distribution of the necessary inputs and other required support systems. This can only be achieved if proper records are captured, kept and maintained.

In recent years, the Government has invited private players to actively participate in the agricultural sector through contract farming.

This system entails the funding of agricultural production by private companies or other entities outside Government.

Agricultural produce is a key raw material for most manufacturing industries hence the intervention to ensure at least 40 percent of the required raw materials are locally produced.

Private players and farmers thus enter into agreements whereby the farmers are supported through the provision of the necessary inputs and support by the contractor who then buys the produce after production.

AMA has to ensure that the interests of both the farmers and contractors are protected in the contract framing arrangements.

Both contractors and farmers should be registered for each agricultural season to protect the vested interests.

The Government has also availed a fuel facility accessible in local currency for farmers and contractors. These arrangements are being coordinated through AMA utilising the information contained in the national database. The importance of registration can, therefore, never be over-emphasised.

AMA has developed a robust and easy online registration system for all stakeholders through website.

Extensive registration campaigns are set to be conducted across all the provinces in the country to ensure that every stakeholder is accounted for.

From this information, stakeholders can link, plan and make informed strategic decisions on their production or processing activities. All agricultural value chain players are therefore encouraged to continue registering with AMA.

 This article was written by Mr Peter Mudzimiri, AMA Head of Compliance. Word from the market is a weekly column produced by the Agricultural Marketing Authority. Feedback [email protected] or [email protected]


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