A private sector-led approach is key to climate change adaptation

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the herald

Elita Chikwati Senior Farm Journalist

The private sector-led approach to addressing climate change and adaptation has been seen by the government as key to reducing the negative effects of the phenomenon.

This came out yesterday at the Zimbabwe: Financing Climate Change Adaptation and Investment conference organized by Zimpapers in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe and Financial Markets Indaba.

The conference focused on issues such as accelerating the energy transition – policies to ensure rapid and efficient decarbonization of the energy sector by addressing energy challenges, manufacturing, importing and l efficient use of energy.

Also on the discussion of the role of institutional finance for the agricultural sector in promoting growth, ensuring greater equity and making financial operations viable and connecting farmers to technologies.

Officiating at the conference, the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, Mangaliso Ndlovu, said the private sector-led approach was a more sustainable approach as the government strived to develop and promote an enabling and business-friendly policy environment as part of the climate agenda.

“I express my gratitude to the private sector for partnering with government to shape and drive the climate finance agenda.

“Zimbabwe will need investment in low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways. As a country largely dependent on natural resources, we must trigger a pro-green, sustainable and climate-resilient development approach,” he said.

He said Zimbabwe was vulnerable to changes in the climate system and the situation was compounded by citizens’ limited climate knowledge and over-reliance on climate-sensitive sectors for their survival, such as energy. , agriculture, forestry and water resources.

“Cyclone Idai in 2019, the current mid-season drought, recurring pest and disease problems, not to mention the ravages of COVID-19, demonstrate that we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis.

“Climate change will further threaten already stretched water supplies, food and nutrition security, health, hydroelectric power generation, human settlements, infrastructure and biodiversity, among other key areas of human development, thereby hampering social and economic development aspirations of the country.

“Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development depends on rainfall; over the past 10 years we have experienced 4-5 dry seasons and our economic performance is strongly positively correlated with rainfall.

“This rainy season has been characterized by poor spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall.

“Prolonged dry spells interspersed with heavy rains have caused flash floods in some areas, directly threatening our food security and economic performance,” he said.

Minister Ndlovu said the government had acquired five radars to improve early warning systems, weather and climate monitoring and weather information for decision-making by policy makers, farmers, industry and others stakeholders towards data-driven climate resilience.

“Our vision (2030) and our National Development Strategy (NDS1) (2021-2025) state that climate action is a national priority. We have identified national priorities for the next four years: renewable energy and energy efficiency, climate-smart agriculture for food security and sustainable agriculture.

“It is critical that we increase investment in rainwater harvesting, supplemental irrigation, adoption of drought-tolerant crop varieties and adoption of viable business models to sustain agricultural production through value added, to the development and consolidation of the market,” he said.

The Director General of the Agricultural Rural Development Authority, Mr Tinotenda Mhiko, said the government was promoting smart agriculture including Pfumvudza so that smallholder farmers can still achieve high yields even in harsh conditions. dry conditions.

“To protect the climate of the country’s agricultural sector, the government is promoting irrigation systems adapted to local populations, improving food security and household incomes.

He said the irrigation projects will operate as business units under the direction of resident Arda program business leaders, while farmers will be trained in agricultural management practices.

The African Risk Capacity Manager, Mr. Lesley Ndlovu, said that all actors in the agricultural value chain need the contribution of all actors in the agricultural value chain to finance adaptation to change. climatic.

“The government, the insurance industry and the banks should play a role. The private sector has a role to play because we cannot rely on the government to solve all the problems,” he said.

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