Let us make live­stock vac­cines lo­cally: Shiri

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Manicaland & Mashonaland East News - Sharon Chigeza Mutare Cor­re­spon­dent

THE coun­try should make bold de­ci­sions to in­vest in plants that man­u­fac­ture drugs and vac­cines needed in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor to re­duce de­pen­dence on im­ports, a Cab­i­net min­is­ter has said.

Of­fi­ci­at­ing at a strate­gic plan­ning work­shop held in Mutare last week, Lands, Agri­cul­ture, Water, Cli­mate and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment Min­is­ter Per­rance Shiri said there was need to build on both hu­man and tech­ni­cal ca­pac­ity to man­u­fac­ture some of the com­monly used drugs and vac­cines lo­cally.

“Zim­babwe is a live­stock coun­try and we can­not af­ford to be a peren­nial im­porter of an­i­mal vac­cines and drugs. It is crit­i­cal that as a na­tion, we take bold de­ci­sions and in­vest in lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing of some of the drugs such as foot and mouth vac­cines to re­duce pres­sure on scarce for­eign cur­rency,” said Min­is­ter Shiri.

Min­is­ter Shiri urged heads of de­part­ments and paras­tatals to be cre­ative and ex­plore non-mone­tary in­cen­tives that boost pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“I am aware of the dif­fi­cult op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment the min­istry is fac­ing and urge you as heads of de­part­ment to be cre­ative and lead by ex­am­ple. Let us ex­plore non-mone­tary in­cen­tives within our ca­pac­ity and ex­tend these to our sub­or­di­nates in or­der to im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity across the min­istry,” he said.

He said em­pha­sis would be put on the adop­tion of in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, ex­ten­sion sys­tems and part­ner­ing with the pri­vate sec­tor in agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion ser­vices as the food se­cu­rity poli­cies had fallen short in at­tract­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments.

“Our food se­cu­rity poli­cies have fallen short of at­tract­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in the sec­tor and en­sur­ing over­all eco­nomic growth. Gov­ern­ments the world over use well-thought-out poli­cies to in­flu­ence agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, mar­ket­ing and trade.

“In Zim­babwe, agri­cul­ture plays a key role and is in­deed one of the key eco­nomic sec­tors crit­i­cal for at­tain­ment of the up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy sta­tus by 2030. There is there­fore a com­pelling need for agri­cul­tural poli­cies to at­tract mean­ing­ful in­vest­ment in the sec­tor,” said Min­is­ter Shiri.

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