By Ransom Mandhlazi - ZANU PF Information Department
FIRST Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, through the Angel of Hope Foundation, has embarked on a full time farming venture, with the produce and proceeds specifically meant for the vulnerable in marginalised communities and orphanages.
The Foundation, Angel of Hope, is growing carrots, cabbages, butternuts, tomatoes and maize.The Foundation is also into fish farming and these projects are at the Angel of Hope farm in Glendale, Mashonaland Central Province.
The farm, which is for the disadvantaged, houses various girls, school drop outs and street kids who are trained to do various agricultural projects.
“As Angel of Hope Foundation, we acquired this farm after applying to the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement. We were put on the waiting list until we were officially given this land.
"We are into farming cabbages, maize, tomatoes, carrots as well as fish farming,” said First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa during a farm visit.
She said the main objective of the farm was to produce for the disadvantaged communities in the country.
“Our aim is to feed the disadvantaged communities. We have areas where this can’t be done. The main focus is to empower the girl child, but we also have boyswho engage in various empowerment initiatives. Some were school drop outs but now we have managed to return them to school, “she added.
With specific mention to Kanyemba and the San people in Plumtree and the Chimanimani-Chipinge cyclone hit area, Amai Mnangagwa highlighted that after her encounter with them she saw the need to establish the farm feeding initiative through the Angel of Hope Foundation.
The First Lady is also engaging in other feeding and empowerment initiatives such as drying of vegetables, chicken and rabbit rearing, which will cascade to various provinces for women empowerment.
Meanwhile, Amai Mnangagwa has transformed the lives of women in Mahusekwa following her intervention at Noeham farm, where women are into market gardening, but with limited market and exposure. The First Lady through her foundation, Angel of Hope intervened with provision of a market for the vegetables which are farmed all year round.
Angel of Hope Foundation in its quest to uplift the lives of women, bought the vegetables and dried some for the disadvantaged and providing markets where the items can be bought at a better price.
Women in the market garden initiative hailed the First Lady initiative saying they had been shortchanged for years but the coming in of the First Lady would help transform their lives through farming.
Others said it was an honour to host the First Lady, highlighting that high transport costs also contributed to less profits.
The First Lady pledged to introduce other projects like goat rearing and free range poultry as she was pleased with the hardwork and determination of the women.
She urged them to also engage into small grain farming and handed over various small grain seeds to the women, which was received with jubilation from the beneficiaries.