Wednesday, February 8, 2023

ZWAYAT value addition clusters benefit women, youth, marginalized

Branton Matondo

Zimbabwe Women and Youth in Agribusiness Trust (ZWAYAT) is leading the organic crop value addition chats following diverse engagements with local and regional organizations for impartation of value addition, finance and organic cropping knowledge to women, youth and marginalized members of the society.
With the food market dominated by genetically modified products (GMO) and fast grown produce, cries from consumers to increase cropping and selling of organic products continue to pour.
Commercialisation of the farming and agro-based projects continue to hamper marginalized producers who are in most cases located in remote vicinities.
ZWAYAT leader Mrs Cecilia Muchechesi who has enrolled a plethora of value addition clusters meant to benefit ignored small scale farmers and producers said the organisation has assisted and continues to assist a lot of women from various districts across Zimbabwe.
“As ZWAYAT, we recently registered with the Zimbabwe Goat Producers Breeders Association (ZGPBA) to help subsistence goat producers within our organization and how best they can come up with a good end product. Besides goat farming, we have also engaged with ZimTrade. ZimTrade teach members on how to assess markets and competitiveness. First Mutual is also helping out in educating our members on financial literacy because most of our target members are based in rural areas where some of them are not literate enough to conduct businesses,” said Muchechesi.
ZWAYAT was also a signatory of Mutare declaration for Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) endorsed ‘Strategy Launch for the Sustainable Development of the Tilapia value chain in Zimbabwe’ launched in Zimbabwe’s eastern border town on November 11.
Muchechesi added that value addition makes a big difference in the world of small scale farm produce.
“ZWAYAT is also a member of Commesa Federation of Women in Business (COMFOB) and we are also a member of Network of African Women in Business (NAWOB). Most of the people we are working with are women and youth in the rural areas. We have engaged women from various districts of Zimbabwe who do their projects on diversified small scales. When women and youth harvest their crops, ZWAYAT value adds by processing, packing, and branding because it benefits the producers in times of exchange on the market.
“From the time we were awarded, we have never looked behind. Our members are at the moment gaining expertise from Quality Assurance Consultancy Company who operates under Africa Continental Preferential Trade Area.
“The idea is to impart knowledge on organic crop farming. Members will also receive eco-marked certificates for the course,” she added.
ZWAYAT clinched bronze medal at a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) Expo held at Rainbow Hotel from October 19-22 this year.

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