21 youths get farms as Govt rolls out empowerment drive
Walter Nyamukondiwa–Mashonaland West Bureau
Twenty-one youths from Mashonaland West Province received A2 Permits under the Presidential 10ha Scheme that seeks to mainstream the participation of youths in agriculture and form a key pillar in the transition of land holders from subsistence to commercial farming.
The beneficiaries are the first batch to receive the A2 Permits out of a targeted 74 youths in the province.
This is in fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s youth economic empowerment initiative, the Provincial Youth Integrated Hubs launched in the Midlands Province on January 7, 2022.
Jubilant beneficiaries hailed President Mnangagwa and his Government for honouring pledges made last year.
Ms Ketty Chanetsa said the Government had given her somewhere to start from and she looked forward to contributing towards the country’s drive towards food sufficiency.
“I am ecstatic and grateful at the same time for what President Mnangagwa has done for us as youths,” said Ms Chanetsa.
“After undergoing training in livestock management at Kwekwe Polytechnic before President Mnangagwa launched the provincial youth integrated hubs where each province got cattle, we also underwent training in crop management and the wait began.”
The issuance of permits, she said, was a sign that President Mnangagwa always delivers on his promises.
Another beneficiary, Mr Tinotenda Masire said youths were ready to play their part in the country’s economic development. “We are grateful as youths that we are being given the responsibility to also play a part in the country’s development,” he said.
The A2 permits will see youths getting 10ha pieces of land in Darwendale as part of integration of youths in mainstream agriculture where Government has provision for a quota for youths in land allocation.
Speaking at the handover of the A2 permits, Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said more land was being identified to support the participation of more youths in agriculture.
“We call upon all the beneficiaries to undergo training programmes as directed by His Excellency the President Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa on the 7th of January 2022 in Midlands Province where this programme was launched,” she said.
“Young people are as well challenged to take an active part in the agricultural value chain.
“Mashonaland West is in proximity to the Zambia and Botswana borders, hence the youths should be involved in exports.”
She called on the Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Directorate and the Agricultural Youth Desk to continue capacitating youths under the provincial youth integrated hubs in Chegutu.
Farmers for Economic Development national chairperson Cde Tapiwa Chitate said youths should take a leading role in the agricultural revolution.
“I strongly urge the youths to make use of the various incubation hubs which are supported by the eight agricultural colleges we have across the country. This will ensure their continuous capacitation in the various agricultural sectors they are in,” said Cde Chitate.
“The allocation of land to 700 youths under the provincial youth integrated schemes has since started as testament to our gathering here, and indeed this is evidence of His Excellency, our President Dr ED Mnangagwa’s commitment to ensure youths’ meaningful inclusion in key national development spaces as is enshrined in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).”
Harnessing the youth potential, he said, would contribute directly to the growth of the country’s agro-based economy through improved raw material production that feeds into agro-processing industries.
He said involvement of youths promoted the integration of technology into agriculture leading to innovation in production and efficiency.