Leonard Ncube , Victoria Falls Reporter
SUSTAINABLE renewable energy generation is critical in driving agricultural transformation and ensuring food security.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister, Douglas Karoro, said this during the 3rd International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo, which ended in Victoria Falls on Friday.
He said energy efficiency was a key enabler in the national economy as it has a huge bearing on priority infrastructure development, food production, employment creation and business development among others.
“Agriculture development and food security remains top priority for the Government of Zimbabwe. Therefore, this initiative of promoting renewable energy comes at an opportune time and as a complement to the efforts by Government in transforming agriculture in line with the national economic blueprint and achieving vision 2030,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.
He said a resilient food system is essential if the economy is to withstand and recover from any shocks.
“According to the medium-term plan, the country’s overall development goal is to transform the economy, reduce poverty, create jobs, maintain micro-economic stability and restore the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services competitively,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.
He said the agriculture sector was already implementing a number of initiatives to transform its operations and urged potential investors to come on board through public-private partnerships and joint ventures.
Deputy Minister Karoro commended energy production initiatives in the Lowveld’s sugar plantations where biomass from sugarcane is used to generate electricity while ethanol is being blended with petrol.
He said Zimbabwe was buttressing the Sadc Regional Strategic Development Plan of ensuring availability of sufficient, reliable, least cost energy that will assist in the attainment of economic growth and alleviation of poverty.
“The Ministry is implementing the agriculture food systems transformation strategy. This is our flagship blueprint, which is anchored on the various plans among them horticultural recovery, accelerated irrigation and rehabilitation plan, national agricultural investment plan and livestock growth and recovery plan,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.
He said Government is committed to promoting a conducive environment for ease of doing business for both local and foreign investors.
“The ministry is implementing projects such as sustainable forestation for renewable energy,” said Deputy Minister Karoro.
He said turning around Zimbabwe’s economy and achievement of the national development goals requires collaborative effort between the Government, development partners and the private sector.
In view of climate-change related weather changes, he said increased knowledge, blended information skills and technology were required to ensure sustainable agriculture.
“This is why the Government is implementing a massive dam construction and rehabilitation programme and the existing dams have a potential to generate an additional 150MW of hydro-electricity.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change and its target is to reduce greehouse gas emissions from 33 percent to 40 percent by 2030. — @ncubeleon
Article Source: The Chronicle