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Posted 01/25/2021 in Agricuture

Being a young farmer in Zimbabwe: THE FEEDBACK


Being a young farmer in Zimbabwe: THE FEEDBACK

BEING A YOUNG FARMER IN ZIMBABWE: THE FEEDBACK

It has been quite a ride this far having to learn from fellow young farmers, expressing their challenges and how they had overcome them. Some challenges however still persist and we always asked them a key question which was a message to the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, the Honorable Dr. John Basera. This is what they had to say:


Question: If you were put in a room with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, what would you tell him?


“I would tell him to push for land allocation to youth who are trained and have practical and scientific experience to bring back the agricultural position of this country back to where it was and even more. Lack of land is the greatest challenge right now and even if I get one hectare I am sure I can do the most with it. I really hope he sees this.”


“Dear Permanent Secretary, 

I'd like to take this opportunity to applaud and appreciate the Pfumvudza Scheme, it’s a brilliant initiative that will definitely yield results now and for the foreseeable future .Well done! 

However, young people remain under represented in agriculture. We have the passion, we have the skills we have the time but we do not have the land .We have taken up all the small spaces in our communities but they are not enough, we need more .Help us help the country. We are ready! Please help us get land, thank you.”


“Make agriculture attractive to the young generation, offer them land that is not difficult to get.  A process free of red tape and bureaucracy.  Give the youth equipment and facilities to embark in farming activities.  We have plenty of youth in and out of Zimbabwe, which means plenty of untapped energy and fresh ideas.   They are Zimbabwe’s biggest resource waiting to be inspired and join in making Zimbabwe a powerhouse.”


“If I were to be put in the same room with the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Dr John Basera before saying anything firstly I would shake his hand and tell him what a role model he is to me and most of the youths out there and also tell him I wish to hold his office someday in life. I wish he could train me to be the best farmer/agronomist as well as a PhD in Agribusiness holder and have a turn-around in my career like he has turned out to be in his career. From there then I would ask him to continue empowering the youth in the country in the agriculture sector for it is the backbone of our economy and the youths are the holders of the future. He should work with us the energetic ones to revitalize agriculture for it is the key component of the nation’s efforts to realize Vision 2030.”


“I would tell Honorable Dr John Basera to support the youth like me which have interests in the agricultural sector through knowledge and financial assistance but mostly I would like to thank him for the great work he is doing in the agricultural sector.”


“I would tell him about the potential that young people have out there, the passion, the enthusiasm and ask him for a financial facility to support young people considering that not a lot of us have colleterial security.”  


“Youths can! It’s now or never small-scale farmers need attention too Sir. Equipment distribution has to reach the grass roots as much as I know farmers are willing to work to put food on the market but we need resources. If it was possible Government should buy those drilling machines get it to be a command water and to avail water to people. I remember the Perm Sec saying that maize in summer can be planted twice but looking at it the other would be under irrigation and it has to be given to all No One Should Be Left Behind” 


“Youths are there with the zeal to farm and take Agriculture to the next level. What we need is access to land, even 6 hectares for a startup.”


“A lot of youths out there have the brains especially when it comes to farming and agriculture, some are full of passion, others are vibrant but they lack financial support to startup whatever projects they may have in mind, more so lack of connections in terms of the marketing sector”


“I would first congratulate him a job well done thus far and then go on to tell him, we need more government-supported initiatives that are similar to Pfumvudza but focused more on horticulture products that we can produce on a large scale and export.  Look at how Brazil has become successful with Chickens and how Israel has turned a desert into a garden. Farmers need extensive government support from inputs all the way to markets. I would also encourage more interaction with youth and financial packages that equip the young farmer.e.g hold regional conferences and workshops so young farmers can learn and network with experienced farmers.”


“Honorable the future is Young. Identify youths who are thriving on the little that they have, give them support in whatever way. Zimbabwe’s future will be in safe hands if you support us. A lot of us out here we don’t have land, finances and inputs to explore ourselves. I (on behalf of many youths) we humbly request your attention on us. Thank you”


SUMMARY

Agriculture forms the backbone of the country accounting for about sixteen to twenty percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Zimbabwe, the majority of young people are showing enthusiastic zeal in majoring in the agricultural sector. Their passion and exuberance urge is being hindered with a lot of factors which includes lack of financial assistance, lack of land to do farming. All these affects the young farmers in Zimbabwe to achieve more in terms of agricultural sector.


A lot of youths out there have the brains especially when it comes to farming and agriculture, some are full of passion, others are vibrant but they lack financial support to start-up whatever projects they may have in mind. The youth are in need of financial facility to support farming activities considering that not a lot of us have collateral security. The young farmers simplistic suggest that improve access to finance will address the challenge in agricultural development by young farmers and would contribute significantly toward removing many of the constraints limiting agricultural development.


Young farmers in Zimbabwe, also lack land to do farming hence this hinder their progressive in agricultural sector. The land reform programme has provided significant benefits to many farmers but the number young generation who have benefitted from the programme is small in terms of the overall population.  The agriculture sector of Zimbabwe will be improved as a result of giving access and better land some of which is not being used by commercial farmers to the young farmers.


Agricultural inputs scheme should be a benefit for all especially young farmer who are not getting enough when it come to the agricultural input benefits. Equipment distribution has to reach the grass roots as farmers are willing to work to put food on the market but we need resources. The youth are advocating for more government-supported initiatives that are similar to “Pfumvudza” and Presidential input scheme but focused more on horticulture products that we can produce on a large scale and export.  


Make agriculture attractive to the young generation, offer them land that is not difficult to get.  A process free of red tape and bureaucracy.  Give the youth equipment and facilities to embark in farming activities.  We have plenty of youth in and out of Zimbabwe, which means plenty of untapped energy and fresh ideas.  They are Zimbabwe’s biggest resource waiting to be inspired and join in making Zimbabwe a powerhouse.   




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