By Kudzai Furusa
There is a gradual nationwide increase in the number of women participating in agriculture owing to the enabling environment created by the New Dispensation under the leadership of President and First Secretary E.D Mnangagwa.
Women have in the past bemoaned their exclusion in the Land Reform Programme and successive allocation of land.
Additionally, the ZANU PF Women’s League has been on record highlighting a number of challenges women were facing in accessing some Government programmes that include mining claims, land agricultural inputs, food and loans.
In response to the cries by the Women’s League, President Mnangagwa appointed several women to positions of authority, a move whose positive vibe is now being felt in the agricultural sector.
Several women both young and old, thanks to the New Dispensation are now venturing into farming as a business.
One such a woman is Letwinner Nyagano, a farmer in Ward 15 Chegutu, Mashonaland West. Nyagano is one of the female beneficiaries of the Presidential Livestock Scheme launched by President Mnangagwa on 28 May 2020.
Nyagano is a 56 year old mother of three specialising in piggery and maize faming. She is a member of the Women in Agriculture Union (WAU) which works in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.
In the leafy suburb of Marlborough, Harare, the vivacious Cynthia Matondo, has ventured into tomato production. Matondo a first time farmer has set up a 300 square meter greenhouse in her backyard garden.
Relatedly, Beverly Nyakutsikwa is another woman in Mandara, Harare who is adding value to farm produce. Nyakutsikwa is making sweet potatoes (mbambaira) and taro root (magogoya) crisps. “I saw a need to provide alternative food choices utilising what is already available to us as a nation,” she said.
One female goat farmer in Masvingo Province who recently graduated from University encouraged people to work extra hard in achieving their dreams. “Guys let us grab the economy, let us work hard and let us be innovative. I know we have got issue on land ownership. You can always rent someone’s farm and be innovative and not just cry that there are no jobs.”
Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development is working out on several empowerment projects targeting the girl child.