21 May 2024

In a significant move to bolster agricultural knowledge management and reporting, CCARDESA, in partnership with FARA under the CAADP-XP4 Programme, recently hosted a transformative training workshop at the Manna Resort in Harare, Zimbabwe. This initiative, funded by the European Union, aimed to enhance the understanding and monitoring of the Malabo Commitments and to share Zimbabwe’s performance results from the 4th  Biennial Review (BR) with key stakeholders.

The workshop’s primary goals included strengthening the capacities of journalists and reporters to support awareness creation and advocacy on Malabo commitments and familiarizing key national stakeholders with essential knowledge management and data capture guidelines. This event was particularly timely, addressing the African Union’s identification of data as a critical factor hindering African countries from achieving the Malabo targets.

Prof. Obert Jiri, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, reiterated Zimbabwe’s unwavering commitment to agricultural development as he officially opened the workshop. He underscored the nation’s progress towards increasing the agricultural budget by 10%, highlighting various initiatives designed to ensure food security. Prof. Obert Jiri said, “In alignment with our dedication to robust agricultural growth, Zimbabwe is actively progressing towards the significant goal of increasing our agricultural budget by 10%. All our initiatives are designed to build a more resilient and productive agricultural sector.”

Dr. Bwenje Clemence, Chief Director of development, Markets and Trade, and the CCARDESA Board Member, provided valuable insights into Zimbabwe’s progress on the Malabo Declaration and the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP/ZAIP). He highlighted several initiatives to enhance food security and proudly noted that Zimbabwe has broken records in maize sufficiency, producing more than the country requires. ” Our initiatives are about meeting targets and transforming lives through improved food security and sustainable agricultural practices.”

Dr. Baitsi Podisi, representing the CCARDESA Executive Director, Professor Cliff Dlamini, emphasized the crucial role of accurate data collection and the need for close collaboration between the Office of Statistics and the CAADP Team. Despite the efforts, he acknowledged the challenge that no country in the region has yet achieved the Malabo Declaration targets. However, he expressed gratitude for Zimbabwe’s support, particularly through providing board members for CCARDESA.

Ms. Futhi Magagula, CAADP-XP4 Programme Officer, presented an overview of the CAADP-XP4 programme and other CCARDESA projects. She underscored the vital role of knowledge management in effectively reporting on Malabo commitments and the Biennial Review process, showcasing Zimbabwe’s impressive performance results.

Mr. Moses Gamundani, the CAADP Focal point, presented the 4th  Biennial Review Report, acknowledging stakeholders for their support, enabling Zimbabwe to achieve certain targets. He emphasized the need for further improvements in Zimbabwe’s performance in the upcoming final BR reporting cycle.

Meanwhile, Mr. Alfios Mayoyo, Manager of Research and Capacity Building at CAFP, discussed strategies to enhance Zimbabwe’s future results, suggesting implementing an integrated and systematic data collection system for better coordination.

Presentations by KM Experts, including Mr. Benjamini Abugri, Mrs. Bridget Kakuwa-Kasongamulilo, and Dr. Kingsley Mujeyi, provided comprehensive perspectives on knowledge management and Malabo reporting at continental, regional, and national levels, respectively.

Throughout the workshop, participants, including researchers, academia, farmers’ organizations, the private sector, NGOs, and the media, engaged in dynamic group discussions to explore improving Zimbabwe’s performance in future Biennial Review reporting cycles.

The workshop underscored the importance of accurate data, effective knowledge management, and collaborative efforts to achieve the Malabo Declaration targets. Despite the challenges, the initiatives discussed at the workshop set a clear path for a more resilient and productive agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.

The meeting concluded on a high note with the inauguration of the Community of Practice, an initiative poised to enhance Zimbabwe’s agricultural research and development and strengthen knowledge management. Participants recognized the challenges in data availability and accessibility, proposing solutions such as robust data collection systems, stakeholder engagement, resource mobilization strategies, and improved data quality measures.

As the workshop ended, it was clear that the event reinforced the collective effort needed to enhance agricultural development and food security in Zimbabwe and across the region, reinforcing the commitment to achieving the Malabo Declaration targets. The energy and insights shared during the workshop set a promising trajectory for the future of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector.