via Women in agriculture want more land – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 1, 2015
LOCAL female farmers claims the country was bearing the brunt of its failure to consider women in the land reform exercise adding the government should urgently work out plans to ensure many of them were given land to salvage the country from the prevailing situation
In separate interviews during the launch of Women in Agriculture Coalition in Harare on Wednesday this week, women from various farming organisation urged government to consider them in allocating land saying they had the requisite knowledge of hunger eradication in the country. The coalition, which had been mooted for close to two years, will now involve at least 14 women organisations from both rural and urban areas.
Speaking at the official launch, Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Nyasha Chikwinya urged women to take farming as a lucrative business.
“Be part of it before you can organise, women need a hand-up not a hand-out approach,” Chikwinya said.
Founder and director of Zimbabwe Women Empowerment Support Ruth Ndawana said women had the capacity to turn around the agricultural sector.
“This one is a coalition of women in Zimbabwe and our niche is women in agriculture. We are trying to bring as many organisations as possible nationwide so that we come up with an amplified voice to make sure those issues and concerns that are worrying women are addressed and to make agriculture a business and secure food security in Zimbabwe,” Ndawana said.
“If you look at the ZimAsset agenda, you find women and youths are mentioned more than 50 times but they are not being capacitated. We want to lobby for mechanisation. From previous engagements we find the government has been borrowing to bring in farming machinery but most of our members have not been benefiting.
“We ask ourselves why are we still importing maize from Zambia? We are in the same region with Zambia and yet we are borrowing from them, we also have vast land here.”
Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union national coordinator for the women’s wing Lilian Kujeke-Goliath, said: “We will have a plan with structures for women farmers. Women from different organisations brought this up and we also have the committees to move forward in the interim until after six months when we shall come up with a team.”