Farmers for Economic Development national chairperson Tapiwa Chitate has challenged youths to advance their participation in agriculture as the government steps up efforts in harnessing their potential through land allocations targeting youths.
The government pledged last year to allocate land to 700 youths under the Presidential 10ha Scheme.
Twenty one youths from Mashonaland West province received their A2 permits on Friday by the Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka.
The beneficiaries are the first batch to receive the A2 Permits out of a targeted 74 youths in the province.
Chitate urged youths in the agricultural sector to make use of various incubation hubs facilitated by agricultural colleges in the country.
“We have eight agricultural colleges across the country which are supporting various incubation hubs and I strongly urge youths to make use of them to ensure the continuous capacitation in all agricultural sectors,”.
“The allocation of land to 700 youths under the provincial youth integrated schemes shows our government’s. commitment to ensure youths’ meaningful inclusion in key national development spaces.” Chitate told The Herald
Speaking at the handover of the A2 permits in Chinhoi, Mliswa-Chikoka said the government is still identifying more land for youths to support their participation in agriculture.
“We are challenging young people to take an active part in the agricultural value chain.
“Mashonaland West is in proximity to the Zambia and Botswana borders, therefore we are expecting them to also contribute to the country’s exports,” she said.
Beneficiaries commended the government for honouring pledges made last year.
“Government has given me somewhere to start from and I am looking forward to contributing towards the country’s development,” one of the beneficiaries Ketty Chanetsa said.
Another beneficiary, Tinotenda Masire said youths are ready to take a leading role in developing the country.
“ I am grateful as we are now being given the responsibility to push the country forward through agriculture,” he said.
Chitate said the involvement of youths in agricultural activities will promote the integration of technology into agriculture leading to innovation in production and efficiency.