Awareness campaign for farmers proposed

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ZIMBABWE Farmers’ Union (ZFU) has urged the Government and agricultural stakeholders to join hands in creating awareness on the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). CAADP is an African Union (AU), New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative which brings together diverse key players at continental, regional and national levels to improve co-ordination, share knowledge, successes and failures, to encourage one another, and to promote joint and separate efforts to achieve the CAADP goals. The programme’s pillars include land and water management, market access, food supply and hunger and agriculture research. Through NEPAD, CAADP addresses policy and capacity issues across the entire agricultural sector on African continent. The programme is entirely African-led and African-owned and represents African leaders’ collective vision for agriculture in Africa. In an interview with The Patriot, ZFU’s executive director, Paul Zakariya, said there was need for the Government and other stakeholders to improve knowledge of the programme to farmers. He underscored the need for Government and agricultural stakeholders to partner in increasing awareness in farmers on CAADP so that they position themselves in the process. “Farmers need to prioritise their projects and do some stocktaking in order to be able to fit into this programme because it involves them,” said Zakariya. “If you go on the ground, there is little that farmers know about the programme yet they should be part of it.” Zakariya disclosed that the process should be conducted at national level. He was unhappy that despite the country ratifying the programme, little had been done by way of signing for funding. Land and water management, market access, food supply and agricultural research are among the pillars of the CAADP. “Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya, among others, have already signed off at national level which we should also have done by now.” CAADP goals are anchored in helping African countries reach higher economic growth through agricultureled development so as to achieve an average annual growth rate of 6 percent in agriculture by 2015.

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