Elliot Ziwira Senior Reporter
SCHOOLS should utilise arable land at their disposal to engage in horticultural projects to be self-reliant and to empower learners with requisite life skills which heighten their participation in the development of the country, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema has said.
Speaking during yesterday’s tour of Achievers Farm in Glen Forest, which is run through the Hub Africa of High Achievers Coach International Academy (HACIA), Minister Mathema said schools should play a role in the development of the child, but not only as a consumer of knowledge for employment purposes.
“We are saying because we have introduced a course in entrepreneurship, we don’t want to flood the streets with children who don’t know what they would do after graduation,” he said.
He highlighted the need for Zimbabwean children to be trained to become participants in the development of the economy and to stand as businesspersons and employment creators.
The highly-mechanised Achievers Farm taps into modern horticultural trends that make it possible to produce more on small pieces of land.
There are 2 700 ready to harvest Fabiola and Copenhagen cabbages, 300 000 plants of onions, 33 360 tomato plants, among other vegetables on the farm.
Because of the Covid-19-induced challenges that have affected markets, vegetables like cabbages, onions, carrots and tomatoes are dried at the farm, not only for preservation purposes, but value addition as well.
The high quality dried vegetables have a ready market locally.
Minister Mathema lauded Dr Tapera Chikandiwa, founder and director of studies at HACIA, for his innovative inspiration saying public schools should take a leaf from the educationist’s book.
Dr Chikandiwa said: “Let us use the land now and not tomorrow so as to build our country using our natural heritage — the land. This is the reason why we are there as a school to be able to teach learners how to farm.”