ZIMBABWE – In a stride towards environmental sustainability, Zimbabwe has made substantial progress under the ACP-MEAS 3 project, an EU-funded endeavor led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Over the past three years, concerted efforts have been made to bolster policy frameworks, advance sustainable agricultural practices, mitigate pesticide impacts, and promote ecosystem-based approaches through farmer engagement.

Zimbabwe’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices is exemplified by the development of key policy documents, including agrobiodiversity frameworks, animal genetic resources strategies, and updated national biodiversity strategies.

FAO’s technical assistance has been pivotal in reviewing agricultural investment policies and establishing Provincial Agricultural Investment Policies (PAIPs), with a focus on agrobiodiversity and pesticide management.

Empowering through knowledge and research

Underpinning these policy advancements are in-depth studies addressing critical themes such as antimicrobial resistance, barriers to adopting bio-pesticides, and the state of organic agriculture.

The identification of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and their impact on farmer health has spurred the formulation of a mitigation strategy.

Additionally, initiatives like farmer field schools have been instrumental in promoting sustainable practices, water conservation, and bio-pesticide utilization.

Driving action and collaboration

Stakeholders unanimously endorse the necessity of legislative reforms to regulate pesticide usage and advocate for viable alternatives, emphasizing the importance of bio-pesticides.

A collective call to action resonates through the imperative to secure government approval for finalized policies and enhance communication channels to disseminate project outcomes effectively across diverse stakeholders.

As Zimbabwe charts its course towards agricultural sustainability, collaboration emerges as the linchpin. The project’s success hinges on cohesive efforts from government, private sector, academia, and communities alike.

Professor Arnold Bray Mashingaidze underlines the imperative of collective action, signaling a united resolve to safeguard agricultural biodiversity and foster responsible pesticide management.

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