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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Women and youths take lead in climate-smart agriculture

Story by Memory Chamisa

Women and youths are taking the lead in implementing climate-smart agriculture, which has improved yields and household food security.

Women often bear the burden of providing for their families and the situation is even worse for those living in rural areas where they have to fetch basic necessities like water and firewood.

With their plight in mind, ReImagine Rural Africa has partnered the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development in implementing climate-smart agriculture for the benefit of women and youths in rural areas.

The initiative has already benefitted women and youths in rural communities like Wedza, Shamva and Mt Darwin after they were equipped with the necessary skills and resources to implement sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural practices.

“We thank officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and ReImagine Rural Africa that came in and supported us women with farming skills that have greatly improved our farming practices. As you can see we look forward to a great harvest through this Pfumvudza concept and not only that I’m going to sell some of my harvest and use the money to start another chicken-rearing project,” said one.

Another said, “The Pfumvudza farming concept is very much useful, you concentrate on a specific area and hectarage. The resources and inputs are used specifically for the holes you would have dug unlike in the past when we would do things randomly and sometimes the yield would be disheartening this year I’m happy to become that all the crops I seeded did well and the household level, I have enough for my family”

“As women, we often are the ones in the field with the children and this concept has saved us a great deal of time and inputs. We have also realised a good harvest which if taken to the GMB will give us a good amount to enable us to go back in the field next season and take care of other basic needs at home like paying for the children’s school fees, buying other household items and so forth,” added another.

ReImagine Rural Africa General Manager, Ms Barbra Chivandire outlined the goals of the initiative in empowering women to embark on commercial farming.

“Over 60 per cent of the food grown in any nation, over Sub-Sahara, Zimbabwe included is grown by women, the workforce in the field is women and youths,” she said.

“When we started this programme, we wanted to empower women so that we create gender parity, in terms of giving women dignity in their work so that they’re not regarded as free labour in the household but that they’re actually contributing people to the GDP of the nation.”

“As we approached the programme we wanted to mirror those statistics so we deliberately went out to ensure that 65% of the beneficiaries were women but not only that we would also like the Youths to be involved,” she went on.

“The new face of Africa is the youth. We are generating excitement that draws the youth to agriculture and makes it. We are very excited to be working with the government in ensuring that rural economies are capacitated and government also catalyses and leads the way in terms of Policy.”

“We’re very cognisant that we need to take our country from poverty through Agriculture and when we work together like that in complementing Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income society we have a thunderclap effect,” she added.

Climate-smart agriculture is meant to boost productivity, enhance resilience to climate change and promote sustainable food production.

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