|NGO on training exercise to equip rural women|
|Friday, 25 May 2012 15:01|
Farming CorrespondentA LOCAL non-governmental organisation, Africa Women’s Initiative in Developing Economies (Awide), has embarked in the training of rural women farmers in the Matabeleland region to manufacture indigenous foodstuffs from locally available agricultural produce.
In an interview with Sunday Business, Awide programme officer Miss Sandra Sibanda said the NGO was assisting disadvantaged rural women to acquire skills in producing a number of food products as well as linking them to external markets to sell the products.
“Awide is a women driven organisation that assists women farmers in the rural areas to produce indigenous products by using indigenous raw materials such as lemons, beetroots and tomatoes.
“We go to the rural areas and train them on how to produce such products and also link them to the markets. We also organise for them market fairs like at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo or districts as well as ward fairs in their respective places,” she said.
Miss Sibanda said since last year Awide had conducted training workshops in Matabeleland South province in areas such as Gwanda, Insiza, Gwanda, Matopo and Mangwe.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme Mrs Merble Sibanda said the livelihood of the women that have been trained by Awide has been greatly transformed.
“We are a 28-member group and we started in February this year after getting training from Awide. We have been trained on how to produce foodstuffs using agricultural produce like lemons and tomatoes,” said Mrs Sibanda who added that nothing was being wasted.
“We sell our products at various markets like the City Hall in Bulawayo and we go there almost every month,” she said. Awide has also taught us how to preserve our agricultural produce during the off-season when they are not available,” said Mrs Sibanda.
Awide also operates in other Southern African countries such as Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa.