Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
THE Government has launched a capacity development programme which is targeting 5 000 young farmers who will be trained on agriculture nationwide.
Speaking at the Matabeleland South Provincial launch of the programme at Esigodini Agricultural College in Umzingwane District last week, national coordinator of the youth desk in farming under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Mr Nikros Kajengo said the purpose of the programme was to ensure that young farmers contributed significantly towards agricultural production.
He said the programme is co-organised by the Department of Production and Labour under Zanu-PF, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement through the Department of Agricultural Education and Farmer training and Agritex. It is being held under the theme “Growing the economy under the Covid-19 era”.
“We are conducting a capacity development programme in various provinces. The programme is meant to train youths in various areas of agriculture. We have partnered with various stakeholders such as different line ministries, technocrats in the agriculture sector as well as financial institutions, among others. Young farmers who will be trained have been selected by authorities from various provinces. These are youths who are already into business but we want to professionalise their businesses so that they take up agriculture as a noble profession. Our young people should take advantage of sound policies put in place by the New Dispensation to develop themselves and the nation,” he said.
Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Cde Abednico Ncube said in pursuit of Vision 2030, Government had put in place a number of programmes targeting the youths and women that are productive oriented to ensure the attainment of food security and nutrition in the nation.
“The agricultural revitalisation plan is one of the programmes adopted which is targeting youths and women to venture into both crops and livestock sectors. This capacity programme is aimed at equipping youths with skills for both livestock and crop production. The pandemic has affected our productive sectors and economy. As a province we are grateful to President Mnangagwa for the agricultural programmes that have been rolled out to improve production and ensure that we all participate in rebuilding our community through agriculture,” he said.
Cde Ncube urged youths to make use of the two tertiary institutions focusing on agriculture located within the province to obtain the pre requisite skills to venture into agriculture businesses. He called upon captains of industry, the agro-business community, corporate partners and development partners to support and work with Government in various programmes to empower the young people.-@DubeMatutu