IFAD to invest in smallholder farmers

INTERNATIONAL Fund for Agricultural Development president Gilbert Houngbo, has urged government to invest in smallholder farmers as a way of improving food security.

By Tafadzwa Mutacha

Houngbo, who is meeting government officials to discuss investment in agriculture, said he was willing to engage authorities when his organisation starts its new programme running from 2019 to 2021.

Houngbo met Lands minister Perrance Shiri, Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni and Finance ministry secretary George Guvamatanga in Harare in affirming partnership and commitment to reducing poverty in rural communities.

“I’m convinced that only with sustained investment in transforming rural area that we can incentivise our communities. We need to come up with ways of improving productivity through human capital, affordable technology that can help us in addressing productivity in rural areas,” he said.

He said agriculture can be a decent income-generating activity for youths.

“We don’t want to sacrifice the quality of delivery. It is not a matter of just spending but it is about impact. So finding the right balance between task balance and preserving the quality of our intervention is at the heart of our expectations,” Houngbo added.

The visit by Houngbo will end tomorrow with focus on the role of smallholder farmers in ensuring food security in Zimbabwe, the challenge of climate change and the need for investment in agriculture.