OPC at 2017 Harare Agricultural Show to enhance food security
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) is exhibiting at the 2017 Harare Agricultural Show in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET)’s goal of enhancing food and nutrition security.
“The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) stand will exhibit under the theme: Zim ASSET Fostering Linkages in the Seed to Food Value Chain for Enhanced Food and Nutrition Security. The focus will be on the Seed to Food Value Chain for boosting agricultural growth and productivity and enhanced Food and Nutrition Security. This is line with the Zim ASSET Food and Nutrition Cluster goals and objectives. Together with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 2: which seeks to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030,” said Ambassador Mary Mubi, the OPC’s Director of Knowledge Management.
The Exhibition has many thematic areas. There is the Research and Development theme which encompasses an expose of current and ongoing research and development activities within the Seed to Food sector including information related to improved varieties of indigenous crops. The Existing Policy Frameworks thematic area makes reference to the policy making cycle, various Legislative Acts, Statutory Instruments, Policies, guidelines that govern and support agricultural policies along the value chain.
It also focuses on critical inputs for the Seed to Food value chain such as energy, water and human resources. Together with exploring local agricultural financing options some of the various local financing institutions and bodies that finance the value chain like the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Agribank, and other financing institution will also be involved.
Consumers are also a critical factor. Information presented under this thematic area relates to humans and animals as consumers of food. There will be further elaboration on food fortification and the nutritional value of indigenous crops and foods. Other focus areas for the exhibition include production, processing distribution, and marketing.
A Children’s Corner is sited within the OPC exhibition space and will cater for primary and secondary school going children and providing knowledge and information related to the Seed to Food value chain with messages focusing on inculcating “good nutrition.”
Felicity Hatendi Gutu, a Social Development Consultant said the 2017 show theme offers an opportunity for the Government, development partners, private sector, civil society, researchers and the public, to further engage and share good practices in order to address the Seed to Food value chain, improve and allow for the adoption of evidence based information and knowledge which can enhance agricultural productivity, processing, marketing and subsequent consumption of a varied diet in order to promote good nutrition.
“The emphasis of the OPC exhibition is the need for collaborative efforts among the various stakeholders in the value chains, including researchers, farmers, agri-business, food producers/manufacturers, suppliers including wholesalers, retailers, those involved in food service, transportation, food regulatory/standards bodies, government, private sector and civil society,” Gutu said.
In exhibiting the value chain approach, the Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management recognises the crucial dependence of agriculture on water, energy, infrastructure, land, industry, technology, transport, finance and markets amongst other factors, that forms the core for sustainable food system. An important consideration in agriculture particularly to food security includes the need to collaborate with a wide spectrum of stakeholders. This means recognising the opportunities coming from the inter-connected nature of ministries and government departments including links with the communities and wider economic and social actors.
The Departments of the OPC exhibiting at the OPC pavilion include that of Policy Formulation, Analysis and Coordination; the Cabinet Secretariat; Public Sector Modernisation and Performance Management; Governance and Monitoring Unit, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Corporate Governance and the Office of the Health Advisor, Department of Psychomotor Activities, and Presidential Scholarship.
Other specialised Units and or Departments who collaborated with the OPC in the exhibition,include the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre, Research Council of Zimbabwe, Crop Breeding Institute, Research and Specialist Services, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Metrological Services, National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, Environmental Management Agency, and Food and Nutritional Council (FNC). Whilst participating Government Ministries included the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Trade and Commerce; Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development; Energy and Power Development; Finance and Economic Development; Transport and Infrastructural Development; Lands and Rural Resettlement; Energy and Power Development; and Small and Medium Scale and Cooperative Development. All of the above mentioned were coordinated by the OPC Department of Public Affairs and Knowledge Management through the formation of an OPC Harare Agricultural Show Exhibition Committee.
Strategic partnership and support was received from its partners, who included the Food and Agricultural Organisation(FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF), World Food Programme(WFP), Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute, among others.
The exhibition communication objectives seek to promote a government approach that creates public awareness on Government activities in relation to the Harare Agricultural Show (HAS) theme; to illustrate the value chain concept and demonstrate interlinkages and roles of various stakeholders; to enhance information and knowledge through the dissemination of research, innovation related to the 2017 HAS theme; and to obtain feedback on Government policies , and approaches.
The envisaged outcomes are to showcase technological and innovations that better meet the needs of the Seed to Food value chain actors; share experiences amongst Harare Agricultural Show audiences and stakeholders and the engagement with the public in order to better understand their needs.