Young Intwasa/Pfumvudza women farmers honoured

04 May, 2021 - 00:05 0 Views
Young Intwasa/Pfumvudza women farmers honoured Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe MP Prosper Machando (right) hands over a plough and farming inputs to 21-year-old Ms Abigail Tafirenyika (wearing Seedco white hat-fourth from right ) while the local leadership looks on

The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Chronicle Correspondent
Awards meant to honour young women in agriculture and with a focus on Pfumvudza/Intwasa were successfully launched last Friday in the Midlands Province.

A brainchild of agriculture-based organisation 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation, the 2021 Young Women in Agriculture Recognition Awards were held in Chirumhanzu District at Chengwena Village in Ward 4. The awards are held in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and in partnership with Seedco, Deutsch Connect, K2, Syngeta and Empower Bank.

The young women were honoured through capacitating them with farming inputs.

The initiative will be rolled out in the coming months in the Matabeleland region and then the rest of the country.

The inaugural awards were held under the theme “Musha Mukadzi Murimi: Promoting gender equality through agriculture”.

Thirty female farmers were selected as the winners with the top five farmers being presented with prizes that included ox-drawn ploughs, fertilisers, hoes and seeds.

The best two farmers were 21-year-old Ms Abgail Tafirenyika and 18-year-old Ms Florence Gumbu respectively.

Ms Gumbu said the recognition has given them as young farmers the zeal to play a paramount role in regaining the country’s food security.

“Having to receive such valuable inputs in the planting of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept leaves us no option but to stand up and turn our fields to be livelihood sustainable projects and grow the country’s economy.

“This has boosted confidence to us as young women farmers to take up the former profession linked to men and do wonders and ensure food security for our nation and communities,” said Ms Gumbu.

National Young Champion Farmer for 2020 Mr Pardon Mhuri who donated a tonne of fertiliser to support Young Women in Agriculture said there is a need to empower women in eradicating poverty.

“In pursuit of fighting hunger within our communities and empowering women, I felt it was good to donate these fertilisers to support grassroot organisations which complement the efforts of the Government in ensuring food security.

“As also a young farmer in the agriculture business, this is part of my corporate social responsibility,” said Mr Mhuri.

Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe legislator Cde Prosper Machando who stood in for Chirumhanzu South constituency legislator Cde Barbara Rwodzi, who was away on Government business, said they are willing to invest and support young women and help expose them to various opportunities for growth.

“This will allow for the young farmers to produce for sustenance and excess for sale to enable enhanced livelihoods, healthy living, economic independence and sustainability of the projects that will resultantly benefit households, communities and the nation at large,” said Machando.

Mr Isaac Kudzai Mupinga, the loans officer for Empower Bank said: “As Empower Bank, we are there to bring the youths into the mainstream economic activities and build a capital base for them.

“Collateral security is not much of the requirements for youths given that the majority of them do not have tangible assets. We are also launching the Youth Business Starter Packs where youths are encouraged to start up agricultural projects funded by the bank with very low interest rates.”

The awards came about as part of the ongoing mentorship of the youth by 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation that was launched last year in December and seeks to support the youth in all sectors of the economy for them to improve and also gain exposure.

The awards event was also attended by Government officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation; Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, ward councilors and traditional leaders.

The new farming technique Pfumvudza/Intwasa introduced by the Government last year is set to boost the country’s food security with a bumper harvest expected.

This comes as Government trained close to two million farmers.

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept is an initiative where farmers prepare in advance thoroughly for the rain-fed farming technique.

Farmers months before the farming starts hole and mulch before manure application on three plots and a plot is 39m by 16m (0,06ha) each. All plots have the same spacing of 75cm inter-row and 60cm in row.

The first plot is the food security plot where farmers can plant either maize or sorghum whereas the second plot is the strategic reserve plot in which farmers can plant any small grain while the third plot is the cash crop plot which farmers can plant either sunflower or soya bean.

If each plot is properly pegged it should have 52 rows and 28 planting stations in a row with 2 plants in each planting station hence a 2912 plant population per plot.

The concept is based on three main principles of conservation agriculture that is minimum soil disturbance, crop rotation and use of mulch.

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