4-H Zimbabwe Foundation and the Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) represented by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement have signed a five (5) year Memorandum of Understanding concerning the promotion of Youth in Agriculture in the rural areas. The Government of Zimbabwe and 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation have entered this Memorandum of Understanding to promote agriculture in rural areas targeting the youth (16 to 35 years) in support of the Government of Zimbabwe’s effort towards sustainable agriculture and livelihoods as stipulated in the Agricultural Recovery Plan.
The objective of this Memorandum includes the setting of schools and youth clubs nationally, the implementation of “learn by doing” approach within the youth, the promotion of agricultural activities in districts and facilitating exchange programmes locally, regionally and internationally and also the facilitation of youth mentorship programmes in Agricultural Colleges and Universities in Zimbabwe among other things.
Speaking at the sidelines of the signing ceremony, 4-H Zimbabwe Board Chairperson Mrs Wendy Madzura said, “we are happy as an organisation to sign this MOU with the Ministry and our main objective being to compliment the efforts of the Government through nurturing, mentorship and conducting empowerment – agricultural programmes for the youth in agriculture throughout the country”.
The organisation is currently running a National Youth mentorship programme and Rural Young Women Entrepreneurs in Agriculture Mentorship and Empowerment program (RYWEAME) in Midlands Province (Chirumanzu district), Mashonaland West Province (Hurungwe district) and Matebeleland South Province (Bulilima district). Its focus areas are in improving and promoting youth targeting rural marginalised young women in best agricultural practices, climate smart agriculture, climate change and adaptation and financial management.
The organisation has worked with Hwahwa prison in the Midlands Province and established an agriculture club to nurture the inmates on the importance of agriculture and skills impartation in ensuring economic growth for the prisoners when they have finished serving their term and are let back out into the community. Moreover it has facilitated the rehabilitation of Jairos Jiri greenhouse gardens that has gone a long way in assisting people with disability to be able to earn a living from the proceeds.It has also worked with several schools in Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, and Mashonaland Central Province) in setting up school agriculture clubs.
The two parties will be operating in all provinces in Zimbabwe and will co-operate with private players and developmental partners who undertake to work with youth in agriculture in Zimbabwe.