Masvingo-The recently launched Agric 4she programme by Zimbabwe’s first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is set to empower women in Masvingo province through various agricultural activities such as crop farming, livestock rearing, horticulture and fisheries.
Officially speaking on behalf of Mnangagwa during the Agric 4She Masvingo edition launch at Rujeko Secondary on November 30, 2022, Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Mandas Marikanda said the programme will be launched in all the country’s 10 provinces to ensure all women are empowered.
Women are 52percent of the country’s population hence the need to support them with agricultural inputs to attain vision 2030.
‘‘I am launching this programme in all the ten provinces of Zimbabwe to ensure that no woman is left behind. The recent census indicated that about 52% of the national population is women. It is in this regard that these women need enough support to steer the agricultural sector towards an upper middle income economy by 2030,’’ Dr Marikanda said.
He further said under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) blueprint Agricultural and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries Water and Rural Development should ensure crop and livestock production and sufficiency through participation of women is realized.
‘‘Under NDS 1 blueprint Agricultural and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the ministry will ensure crop and livestock production and sufficiency through participation of women in rural communities,’’ added Dr Marikanda.
Speaking during the same event Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira urged women to use the provided inputs wisely and not to always depend on men.
‘‘The mother is the owner of the house, she is the one who cares for children so this programme will empower women in supporting their families, all women should not wait for husbands to support but to work hard and use the agricultural inputs wisely,’’ Chadzamira said.
ZANU PF Women’s League Chairperson Alginia Mhlanga appealed for the awarding of certificates to women who participated in courses like nurse aid, sign language, food and nutrition as well as tailoring courses offered by Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) upon request by Mnangagwa.
‘‘All seven districts in Masvingo province did the ZOU programmes but the certificates are taking so long to be given to the students,’’ said Mhlanga.
The Agric 4She will address issues such as production across all sectors of agriculture, post-harvest processing techniques, value addition and storage, increased social, rural, and urban agricultural infrastructure, access to finance and financial literacy training, access to agricultural inputs, technology and extension, links to established agricultural markets, access to agricultural business development skills and information and assistance in forming and strengthening women’s agricultural groups.
The Agric 4She programme will be supported by other programmes such as Pfumvudza 4She, Neap 4She, and Horticulture 4She livestock 4She, Fisheries 4She, Mechanization 4She, Irrigation 4She and Veterinary 4She.