By Staff Reporter
SEVERAL young farmers were honored by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,Water,Climate and Rural Resettlement for their outstanding exploits in the agricultural sector.
Guest of honor at the awards ceremony Government Parliamentary Chief Whip Pupurai Togarepi encouraged the winners to continue in their endeavors and urged youths to take farming as a serious business venture.
Togarepi pledged to push for legislation that increased youth access to land and financial support.
“We as legislators have a role to support youths and our laws should help them develop and we shall be working towards ensuring youths have access to land. When the land audit is complete we shall reserve a quota for youth and encourage them to work in groups as land does not expand. Farming can also be a source of livelihood and I encourage youths to go into it, equally the financial services sector must support our youths and ensure they access funding but we youths who are responsible and repay their loans. The issue of collateral should not be hindrance as the biggest collateral is the idea”.
Togarepi said government through the ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement had committed to provide 10 hectares in each of the country’s 52 districts to be used by youths for agricultural projects.
Winners at the awards ceremony will be part of the branding and profiling programme of the Youth Desk which publishes information of successful youth farmers through various platforms that include print and online media.
Other platforms will include distribution of brochures at major exhibition platforms such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Harare Agricultural Show (HAS).
Head of the Youth Desk in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture,Water,Climate and Rural Resettlement Nickros Kajengo said the awards ceremony demonstrated that farming was worthwhile venture for youths.
“The branding and profiling exercise aim to unlock the potential of the youth in the sector in line with government vision 2030 whose thrust is to achieve upper middle income economy by 2030. Youth dividend is an important pillar towards realization of this. The list is a mere reflection and a fraction of capable young farmer in the agricultural arena,” said Kajengo.
Winners at the awards ceremony walked away with cash prizes inputs and certificates.
Categories were drawn from crops, poultry, livestock, advocacy, Agrotourism, entrepreneurship, media and fish farming.
The ceremony also honored individuals that had contributed immensely to the development of the agricultural sector.
Among those honored include ZFU president Paul Zakariya, CFU president Andy Pascoe, Ivan Graig, John Basera Anthony Mandiwanza , Basil Nyabadza ARDA, Dr Cames Mguni DRSS, Francis Vengai Ministry of Lands and Agriculture, Mr Denis Zaranyika Seedco .
Industry and farmers agreed to embark on Livelihoods projects for the youths in rural communities .Most companies such as Seedco, Agriseeds ,Pannar Pioneer and Charter Seeds