THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) hosts the Zimbabwe Food Conference and Expo on July 8 to tackle food security, review the status of Zimbabwe’s food manufacturing and distribution capacity, dialogue on sector needs, as well as the needs and concerns of retailers and consuming public.
The expo will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre. It is aimed at bringing together players in the food industry for dialogue, and showcasing what the country is capable of producing, while interacting with retailers, policy makers and consumers.
Those to attend include policy makers, food manufacturers, retailers, consumers, government representatives, NGO sector and the media. It is an opportune moment to harness energies towards the goal of moving towards sustaining Zimbabwe’s food needs while creating employment and sustainable livelihoods for farmers and the downstream agricultural sector.
Conference Moderator Mandivamba Rukuni said: “Food is a big issue at the national and household level and it is becoming clear that everyone is involved, that is government as policy makers, the private sector who manufacture the food, donors who provide food aid, farmers who provide agricultural produce and retailers who sell to households for consumption.
“As such this conference provides a platform to bring all these sectors together to discuss the pertinent issue of food security.”
The Expo will tackle the economic status of the food manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe, social and policy issues on the food sector in Zimbabwe with focus on the pros and cons of genetically modified foods and the state of food fortification as a health issue, among other issues.
Attendants will also look into the issue of food science and food relief as well as expectations of the government and donor community.
GMAZ said two major outcomes anticipated include establishment and improvement of a sustainable dialogue between various sectors on the food sector, especially the government and food manufacturers and consumers, as well as a broad-based appreciation of areas of reform in the food sector.
“This is an opportunity for Zimbabwe’s local brands to showcase their products and interact with both policy makers and consumers, and through this demonstrate Zimbabwe’s capacity and intention to be self-sustaining in food,” said GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara (pictured below).
The conference and expo will have specific presentations and dialogue along thematic issues, as well as an exhibition by both manufacturers and others involved in the food sector.