The Sunday Mail
Agriculture provides a rewarding career choice for young people who want to compete fiercely for low-paying jobs in urban areas, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said.
He made the remarks at the National Young Farmers Awards ceremony last Friday evening in Harare.
The Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement; and Youth, Arts, Sports and Recreation ministries organised the awards in conjunction with the Federation of Young Farmers Club Zimbabwe Trust.
VP Mohadi said, “I encourage youths to engage seriously in agriculture as it is the foundation upon which other industries in the value chain thrive. I believe youths can, and should, choose agriculture as a career of first choice.
“In the attainment of Vision 2030, of growing Zimbabwe into an upper-middle class economy, it is vital to pay attention to agriculture and the youth in farming have always been the backbone of small economies such as Zimbabwe, with its forward and backward linkages with other sectors in manufacturing and the services industry.”
The VP said agriculture was at the centre of economic empowerment, inclusive growth, food security and employment creation.
“Government is, therefore, setting up youth empowerment programmes and policies that facilitate youth ownership and control of productive resources, including land, by ensuring that they have equal access to land and other resources.” he said.
VP Mohadi said farming could reduce unemployment, especially among women and young people.
“The involvement of the youths will ensure continuity and sustainability of all agricultural production sectors in improving food security and the creation of employment opportunities in rural areas resulting in the reduction of rural to urban migration.”
Lands Minister Perrance Shiri commended FYFCZ for championing the youth participation in agriculture.
He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa had championed the cause of organised agriculture for youths to increase productivity.
Minister Shiri went on: “We need strategies to transform the economy through a modernised agriculture led growth. This initiative by our youth to explore the nexus between innovation, ICT and Agriculture will no doubt attract more youths to the sector.
“This initiative by our youth to explore the nexus between innovation, ICT and agriculture will no doubt attract more youths to this sector.
“Agriculture is not only about tilling land and is not meant for the unemployed or older generations. Agriculture continues to be the anchor of this country’s economy. Growth in the sector is however faced with a number of challenges.
“Our vision for the next five years is to modernise agriculture through production efficiency, achieved food security and profitability for our farmers all aimed at significantly improving agricultural productivity.”