Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri today launched the National Agroforestry Program aimed at incorporating fruit trees into agricultural farming systems of the country.
Agro-forestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. It combines shrubs and or fruit trees in agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, ecologically sound, and sustainable land-use systems.
Speaking during the launch of the programme at Danckwert Farm in Harare, Muchinguri said her ministry’s program has been designed to support and complement the Command Agriculture.
“My Ministry’s Agroforestry program has been designed to support and complement the Command Agriculture initiative as trees are less sensitive to weather pattern variability than do agricultural crops due to their perennial nature,” said Muchinguri.
“Our thrust as a Ministry is to promote agroforestry which involves the incorporation of fruit trees into agricultural farming systems to boost Food security and Nutrition under the Zim-ASSET economic planning framework
“To support this project the country requires over 5 million fruit tree seedlings that will be distributed nationwide to participating farmers because of this requirement, Ministry is partnering Tree Eco in the establishment of tree nurseries including Watsomba Nursery in Mutasa district, Fuller Nursery in Hwange and Magunje Nursery in Hurungwe which is currently being established.
“The ministries Higher and Tertiary and Primary and Secondary Education through their Ministers have agreed to be also be part of this programme,” added Muchinguri.
The agroforestry programme is running under the theme, “Fruit tree for food security and nutrition.”