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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Green Jobs for Rural Youth programme creates business units, jobs for rural youths in agriculture

Story by Justin Mahlahla

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development in partnership with Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training is implementing Village Business Units across the country, which has transformed the livelihoods of rural youths in agriculture.

Four young farmers, namely Desmond Magutsa, Courage Gwena, Primrose Chakaingesu and Precious Chakaingesu of Marondera got a cumulative grant of USD$4 960 from the Food and Agriculture Organisation under the Green Jobs in September 2022. They built fowl runs and ventured into a layers project.

They also bought a grinding mill.

The four young farmers have since registered a company called Ease and Green Private Limited.

They are operating in Ward 19 of Munemwa Village in Marondera.

Courage has a Masters in commerce and Business Management, with first degree is Marketing.

Development practitioner and Chief Programmes Officer in the Agricultural Youth Desk, Mr Nickros Kajengo was pleased with the way youths are embracing farming as a meaningful vocation.

“I encourage our young generation to consider agriculture as a noble profession. Let us break the stereotype that farming is for failed graduates and embrace the immense opportunities that lie within the agricultural sector,” he said.

Agriculture plays a central role in providing productive employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people in Zimbabwe and other countries in the Sub Saharan Africa.

As the sector moves into a new era of ‘Agriculture and Rural Development 8.0’ – where solutions lie in digitalisation, modernisation and mechanisation, automation and artificial intelligence, youths can be instrumental in transforming the food systems.

The nation’s current systems of food production, processing, distribution and consumption are widely recognised as being sustainable from both ecological and social perspectives.

According to projections by the Food and Agriculture Organisation experts, if Zimbabwe’s current food production systems are maintained and emulated by other countries, it is possible to feed the growing human population, which is expected to reach nearly ten billion by 2050.

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