The Sunday News
Costa Mataga, Farming Reporter
AN organisation representing young farmers, Youth In Agriculture has appealed to the Government to provide land and inputs to farmers so that they enhance production and contribute to the growth of the farming sector.
Bulawayo ambassador for Youth In Agriculture, Mrs Nonceba Mwedzi-Agwaniru said most young people in Bulawayo and various parts of the country were failing to embark on various agricultural projects largely due to lack of land and funding to access the requisite farming inputs.
“As youths, we are prepared to contribute immensely to the agricultural sector as we are the biggest consumers by virtue of numbers in terms of the country’s population. We once approached the Bulawayo City Council to designate a piece of land for us to carry out farming activities but the engagement wasn’t fruitful,” she said.
Mrs Mwedzi-Agwaniru said apart from failure to acquire land, youths were also facing the problem of lack of funding to procure the requisite inputs.
“We are also appealing to the Government to consider us in various inputs support programmes as we are very much incapacitated. The Government should bear in mind that as youths we still have the energy and zeal to contribute immensely to the agricultural sector since our country’s economy is agro-based,” she said.
Mrs Mwedzi-Agwaniru said youths from Bulawayo and parts of Matabeleland South were failing to effectively utilise 55 hectares allocated to them in Esigodini for the purpose of cropping activities due to lack of farming implements and machinery.
“We managed to pool our finances together and bought seed to crop at our Esigodini farm but we can’t do any farming there because we don’t have implements or machinery for land preparation. We are therefore appealing to the Government to include us in its farm mechanisation programmes so that we can be allocated machinery such as tractors and planters, which we can also hire out,” she said.
Mrs Mwedzi-Agwaniru said youths involved in agriculture are organising a meeting with Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, Judith Ncube to appraise her of their grievances.
“We are organising a meeting with the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs soon where we are going to spell out our grievances so that she takes them to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement,” she said.