Young farmer excels in agriculture, hails land reform programme

By Tapiwa Machemedze

A young Mazowe farmer who benefited from the land reform programme has rallied young people who recently got land from government to efficiently utilise it and boost import substitution initiatives.

With rising demand for land among young people who have realised agriculture is the way to real empowerment, 35-year-old Concession farmer, Edwin Chinotimba, has rallied youths who recently got land in the Second Republic to efficiently utilise the resource.

Chinotimba, who produced 45 hectares of soya beans and self financed the whole crop at Watakai Farm, is eager to demonstrate that the youths can make it in the demanding field of agriculture.

“On the issue of the land reform programme, I want to thank the Second Republic for seeing youth like it is. I want to thank President ED for uplifting the youth. I have been farming for more than 14 years, but I was managing my father’s farm until I got my own farm like today, it’s my farm. I am a youth. I am 35 years, so I want to encourage other youths, especially those in Mashonaland Central province who got land. I want to encourage them to utilise the farms and take farming as a business,” Chinotimba said.

Farm supervisor Lawrence Sande weighed in saying the youth have a key role to play in growing the gross domestic product hence they planted soya beans as a means to reduce the 200 million dollar cooking oil import bill.

“We decided to grow soya beans this year because we saw that our country is losing a lot of foreign currency which goes out to import cooking oil and yet we have the land and the resources to do it here,” he noted.

Government recently launched the provincial integrated youth skills development centres where over 5000 youths will be equipped with agriculture skills as part of efforts to mainstream them in national programmes.