By Elvis Dumba
Yomba, Raffingora – The innovative Agriculture for SHE programme designed to increase women’s participation in agriculture activities has been hailed as a game changer for the fairer sex.
The program will see women benefit from small-scale irrigation schemes under Irrigation for SHE, Horticulture for SHE, and cotton for SHE programmes among other agriculture support schemes exclusive for women through the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Hon Mary Mliswa- Chikoka said the program assists food security at the household level thereby assisting in reducing incidents of gender-based violence.
“We are grateful for such an initiative that is set to revolutionize participation and empowerment in the agriculture sector which in turn will ensure increased food security at the household level whilst financially empowering women resulting in the reduction of gender-based violence as we have noted that hunger in some homes is a key driver of GBV,” she said.
Minister Mliswa-Chikoka urged women who benefit from the Agriculture for SHE to utilise the opportunity for empowerment and desist from abusing the system.
Zvimba North Constituency Member of thd National Assembly and Local Government Deputy Minister Hon Marian Chombo thanked The First, Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa for supporting women and girl child development initiatives.
“We are fortunate to have a visionary loving mother in our First Lady, Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa who always strives to ensure that women receive equal opportunities in all spheres of life and we are grateful that in the spirit of leaving no place or person behind, women in Yomba are benefitting from the agriculture support systems thereby contributing towards the economic development of National Development Strategy 1 which is set to ensure the achievement of an upper middle-income economy by the year 2030,” she said.
Women constitute 58% of the country’s population but are bemoaning the little support they have been receiving in many economic sectors including agriculture.
Women small-scale farmers who also included the vulnerable on Yomna received cotton seed packs under the government’s climate proofed agriculture (Pfumvudza) program.
The First Lady, Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa was appointed Patron of The Agriculture for SHE programme.