The Minister of Lands and Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka has challanged jounalists to tell the true story of Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector.
In his address at the 2020 Edition of the Zimbabwe Agriculture Media Awards (ZAMA) held virtually this yesterday,Dr. Masuka commended the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society for organising the awards at a time when the country is battling the COVID -19 pandemic.
He underscored the critical role played by the media through dissemination of information for use by farming stakeholders
“Information dissemination is at the core of many economic activities and agriculture needs strong synergies and partnerships with the media to articulate issues and corncens in the sector.”
“The challenge I throw to the media fratenity is to be able to tell the story of Zimbabwe from an agricultural point of view; to be able to show the resilience of the Zimbabwean farmer and the agricultural sector especially at a time when many communities have been affected by covid-19,” he said.
Speaking during the same event, Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana urged the media to report more on livelihoods during the coronavirus pandemic.
He added that more reportage in the Zimbabwean media is based on politics hence people are misinformed on issues to do with agriculture and climate change.
“Cyclone Idai affected households but it also affected agriculture ,as government we decided to move people from places which where susceptible to the challenges that came with the climate changes such as the Cyclone.
“A lot of people were asking us whether they were going to get their banana plantations and l didn’t see that being reported on.
“This is an angle of what happens when people’s lives are affected when agriculture is affected ,it also affects their livelihoods it affects our livelihood .
“As government we were focused on just making sure that people are safe and for some , we built them nice houses,” he said.
Nevanji Madanhire who was the adjudication committee chairman urged media houses to take agricultural reporting very serious adding that they should set up desks dedicated to agricultural reporting and these desks should be directed by at least one veteran journalist who directs the other junior journalists to produce good stories.
“l think theres a need for refresher courses on agriculture journalism as l said its very weak at the moment.
“l think the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society should make an effort to speak to editors and encourage them to promote agriculture reporting,” added Madanhire.
The awards which were held under the theme ‘ Supporting livelihoods for sustainable development’ saw Alpha Media Holdings reporter Mthandazo Nyoni scooping six awards including the Overall Agricultural Sector Best Reporter Award.
Below is the link to the virtual awards.