Home » Governance » Zim Food Conference and Expo On Cards

STAKEHOLDERS in the food industry will converge in Harare in July at the Zimbabwe Food Conference and Expo 2015 which seeks to expose and promote the country’s capacities in the growing and processing of food.The food conference and expo seeks to provide discourse among business, Government and non-state actors on matters related to national food production and security to interrogate the suitability and safety of imported food and modern technology in agriculture to ascertain and provide recommendations on national preparedness towards drought and disaster related shortages.

Some of the Zimbabwe Food Conference and Expo objectives include to explore modern and appropriate models of agricultural produce with intention to recommend to Government international best practices to provide the opportunities for retailers and general dealers o meet and interact with different local food manufacturers and processors.

ZFCE chief executive officer Mr Alois Burutsa said the conference will have 13 thematic focus and interactions which include food for health and nourishment.

“Fortification as a key strategy against stunted growth and micro-nutrients deficiencies. The pain of eating too much,” said Mr Burutsa.

He said other thematic areas relate to enhancing local food production which entails preference of local food brands, farmer and industrial support, price stabilization and employment creation genetically modified organism technology in Zimbabwe — profitable or poisonous maximising cereal farming and processing — ensuring guaranteed availability of staple foods to all at affordable prices — can local industries adequately supply the nation. The conference seeks to come up with ways to assist in the push towards food security as espoused in Zim-Asset.

Food Security and Nutrition is one of the four pillars of the economic blueprint — Zim-Asset.

The thrust of the Food Security and Nutrition Cluster is to create a self- sufficient and food surplus economy and see Zimbabwe re-emerge as the “Bread Basket of Southern Africa”.

Ultimately, it seeks to build a prosperous, diverse and competitive food security and nutrition sector that contributes significantly to national development through the provision of an enabling environment for sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation. The cluster programmes are aligned to and informed by the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, Draft Comprehensive Agriculture Policy Framework (2012-2032), the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, the Zimbabwe Agriculture Investment Plan (2013-2017), SADC and COMESA Food and Nutrition Frameworks.

Other areas of focus include agriculture contract farming the role of quasi-government establishment in food security food safety food distribution and transportation food relief and poverty alleviation.

The conference will also deliberate on ICTs as a key enabler in the attainment of food production and processing and the provision of water supplies as a constitutional right.

Stakeholders will brainstorm also on financing food production and importation-interrogating fiscal space and political will finance agriculture.

The expo will comprise limited in-house and outdoor exhibition stands available at competitive rates. The exhibition will feature mainly product displays, which presents an opportunity for exhibiting companies to interact with their current and prospective customers.

“Facilities will be provided for activities such as cook-outstanding eating competition. The exhibition categories include beef, poultry, dairy, cereal products, bread and confectionery, sugar, sweets and candy, beverages, traditional cuisine, oils, food processing equipment, seeds and fertilisers, trade and finance, transportation and distribution, Government departments and regulatory institutions and non-state actors and civic society.

The Zimbabwe Food Conference and Expo will learn from the global situation where food security challenges continue to pre-occupy all capitals.

The triple burden of malnutrition under nutrition, obesity and micronutrients deficiencies, will remain topical in the long term.

Mr Burutsa said the challenge is how to enhance local production of various products and their availability at affordable prices.

“The Zimbabwe Food Conference and Expo 2015 will focus on the local food systems activities for food production from crop and livestock, processing, distribution, governing legislation and business opportunities,” said Mr Burutsa.

Source : The Herald