In a significant stride towards enhancing youth participation in agribusiness, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) successfully concluded its “learn and share” programme in Mashonaland Central.
The initiative, spearheaded by the youth wing of ZFU, provides a platform for young people involved in the agribusiness value chain to share success stories and address challenges in the country’s ever-growing agriculture sector.
The programme, launched last year, aims to create a safe and open space for dialogue among young farmers. This unique approach encourages participants to engage in discussions over food and drink, with each farmer bringing produce from their current agricultural endeavours.
The latest session of “learn and share” took participants to Vale Farm in Bindura, owned by Tafadzwa Zimonte, who serves as the Youth and Mashonaland Central Secretary for ZFU. The farm spans 72 hectares of seed maize, 45 hectares of soya beans, and includes a diverse range of livestock such as cattle, pigs, and goats.
Zimonte and his wife, a jovial young couple with three children, exemplify the success stories emerging from the youth engagement in agribusiness. Their utilisation of various farming activities, including animal husbandry diversification, highlights the potential for youth-driven innovations in the agriculture sector.
Addressing the issue of food security, Joshua Zinzombe, Chairperson of Zimbabwe Farmers Union’ young farmers division in Mashonaland Central, emphasised the vital role of young people in the agribusiness space. ZFU aims to contribute to the Zimbabwean government’s national development strategy 1 (NDS1), focusing on improving self-sufficiency and securing the country’s status as the regional breadbasket of Africa.
“The robust participation of young people in agribusiness can change the trajectory of food security in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole,” stated Zinzombe in a LinkedIn post. He underscored ZFU’s commitment to supporting NDS1, with the primary goal of increasing food security from the current level of 45% to 100% and reducing food insecurity from 59% in 2020 to less than 10% by 2025.
The “learn and share” programme is just one of the initiatives ZFU is undertaking to mobilise farmers across the country in alignment with government’s 2030 vision. The recently launched fish farming project in Mashonaland Central is testament to the union’s dedication to transforming agribusiness and improving the lives of young farmers.
Acknowledging the impact of climate change on agriculture, ZFU is championing climate-friendly methods. The focus on fish farming, with its low methane gas emissions, aligns with the global effort to combat climate change and ensures sustainable food security in Zimbabwe.
As the “learn and share” programme gains momentum, it is expected to play a crucial role in empowering young farmers, fostering innovation, and contributing to the overarching goal of a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income society in Zimbabwe by 2030.