By Ndafadza Madanha
IN a major boost to President E.D Mnangagwa’s re-engagement drive with the West, the European Union (EU) through its local partners handed over equipment valued at US$90 000 to Watershed Dairy Farmers Association operating from Magure Farm in Hwedza North.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Cde David Musabayana, who is also Hwedza North House of Assembly representative, applauded the EU for its efforts in supporting dairy production in the country.
He said the equipment which includes a tractor, milking plant, borehole and disc harrow is part of the 40m Euro pledged by the EU bloc to support five agriculture value chains in the country under the Zimbabwe Agriculture Growth Programme (ZAGP).
Under ZAGP, the dairy sector was allocated 7million Euros.
“The President’s re-engagement drive is bearing fruit as we are witnessing. We are happy with the EU and its local partner who are collaborating with our local dairy farmers to increase our milk production,” Cde Musabayana said.
This would not have been possible without the re-engagement efforts of President E.D Mnangagwa to have a 40m Euro Agreement signed with the EU, to help us support five value chains in the agriculture sector. I want to thank the farmers for the unity of purpose they have exhibited and urge them to continue working hard”.
Watershed Dairy Farmers Association is made up of 32 small holder farmers who pooled their resources to raise US$12 500 to kick-start their operations.
Under the ZAGP funding requirements beneficiaries are expected to match the EU for every dollar they receive. Nestle Zimbabwe chipped in on behalf of the farmers with a US$44 000 solar power plant to match the equipment provided by the EU.
Provincial Minister of State Cde Apolonia Munzverengwi who attended the ceremony pledged to provide the farmers with land for them to operate from in the near future.
Watershed Dairy Farmers Association is currently operating from Magure farm owned by Watershed ZANU PF councillor Cde Sheila Mugabe who hailed the tenacity shown by the group.