Govt lures private partners to support youths in agriculture

Agriculture Reporter

The Ministry of  Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement has intensified efforts to lure private partners into supporting women and youths in agriculture as it moves to ensure that the sector becomes an employment hub for Zimbabweans.

Speaking during an integration meeting held in the capital yesterday with Heifer International, Deputy Director Agriculture Education and Farmer Training in the Ministry, Mr Francis Vengai said agriculture was the backbone of the economy, hence it should be supported to realize its full potential.

“The revival of our economy is hinged on the success of agriculture. The agriculture sector should therefore be lucrative and attractive to lure women and youths to venture into it. In order to make agriculture more profitable, our agriculture colleges are training people to become better farmers and embrace the use of technology in agriculture,” said Vengai.

Vengai added that the coming of Heifer International on board was commendable as such partnerships would go a long way, as the sector was in dire need of strategic ideas and financial muscle to support young farmers.

“Partnership with Heifer International will go a long way in stimulating business among young people. Such partnership will ensure that more youths and women are recruited into agriculture and this will create employment and a source of income for the people,” added Vengai.

Heifer International Country Director, Mr Kainos Musvinu said Heifer International had been supporting the agriculture sector and had been working with smallholder farmers in the country since 1984.

He added that Heifer Zimbabwe programmes were tailor-made to focus on improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in order to help them earn a sustainable living income.

“Our programmes focus on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers to help them earn a sustainable living income. We have worked closely with smallholder farmers in almost every province in the country.  We strive for at least 60 percent of the smallholder farmers in our programs to be youths and women,” said Mr Musvinu.

Speaking at the same occasion, Chief Programs Coordinator in the Ministry, Mr Nickros Kajengo said partners were needed to support agriculture as the sector had potential to positively transform lives.

“The sector opens up great opportunities for accelerating growth and providing job opportunities for a large youth population. Since the need for food security, domestic and global food demand keeps increasing, it is not losing to admit that agriculture can rise as a valuable employer, hence partners such as Heifer International are needed,” said Kajengo.

Youth engagement in agriculture will be essential to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both to rejuvenate the country’s agric food system and develop economic opportunities for young Zimbabweans