Story by Cordelia Ngara
THE World Food Programme (WFP) has chipped in to complement government efforts in capacitating agriculture extension workers, through the provision of digital devices.
United Nations WFP this Tuesday availed a package of 600 tablets to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development for onward distribution to agriculture extension workers, whose capacitation has been identified as key towards increased agricultural productivity in the country.
The extension workers are aware of the task that lies ahead after being fully equipped with the tools of the trade including the motorcycle programmes rolled out by the government in the past few years.
The government and the WFP are satisfied with the collaborative initiatives meant to guarantee food security in the country.
“These devices will be used by Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services extension staff to perform several different tasks in support of rural development activities.
“They will facilitate market monitoring activities and staff will be able to gather crucial information throughout the year from rural and urban markets in Zimbabwe, monitoring prices and availability of different commodities.
“The extension staff working out in various wards need to be capacitated and to be resilient to be able to work. They have in the past been capacitated with motorbikes, data and now tablets,” said Chief Director for Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri.
“The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has a considerable number of extension workers of up to 6 000 people who are present all over the country so we do support them and strengthen their capacity,” said the Head of Programme at WFP Mr Roberto Borlini.
Extension workers have an important role in imparting knowledge to farmers to improve agricultural productivity across the country.