GWERU: The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Rural resettlement are working on modalities to align some policies and duties for improved coordination and ease of doing business between the two ministries.
This emerged during an inter-ministerial meeting in Gweru recently. The meeting identified some bottlenecks with regards to repairing government properties that could only be attended to by public works officials which sometimes took long but could be solved easily if such responsibilities are transferred to affected ministries.
Lands, Agriculture, Water Fisheries, and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka says such bottlenecks need to be addressed as a matter of urgency for government business to operate smoothly.
“Accelerating rural development requires that we set up centres in strategic locations to promote sustainable agriculture development. Such centres will have market stalls, aggregation centres, pack shades, cold chain facilities,” Dr Masuka said.
“Furthermore, there is potential for collaboration in terms of rehabilitation of existing market infrastructure in both rural and urban areas as there is a lack of structured and organized markets, a phenomenon that has affected farmer viability.
“Our two Ministries may collaborate and ensure the provision of land in strategic locations to set up key infrastructure to promote sustainable agriculture development,” Dr Masuka added.
The government, however, commended the rural industrialization drive being spearheaded by the Agriculture Rural Development Authority (ARDA) through their vision 2030 accelerator model.
“We are happy that the Ministry of Agriculture is taking the business to the rural areas. It has to be taken to the rural areas. We need it done. We were there in Lupani and witnessed the growth being facilitated through ARDA.
“We want grinding mills and want our rural areas to develop to become m growth points and towns. Agriculture must lead us and then we will have our people moving there,” said Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo.
The rural industrialization exercise seeks to promote urban to rural migration while creating employment amongst marginalized communities in line with the National Development Strategy 1.