Locadia Mavhudzi, Midlands Bureau
Hundreds of youths registered under Command Agriculture and Presidential Inputs Support Scheme in Midlands province will next year undergo practical agriculture training, as Government moves in to improve their productivity through sustainable farming methods.
The training course named “Practical Certificate in Agriculture” will be offered at agricultural and vocational colleges in the province in one year through a hands-on approach where farmers will do their attachments and be monitored at their own farms.
Speaking at a field day in Shurugwi, Mlezu College of Agriculture principal Mrs Nyaradzayi Madzime said the programme was earmarked to support youth who joined the national command agriculture programme.
“The success of the command agriculture programme hinges on equipped farmers, hence the initiative to offer practical skills to all farmers, including the youth,” she said.
“I would like to let you know that as an agricultural training institution, we have taken a further step to support command agriculture. As of 2018 , we will offer a certificate in practical agriculture course whereby anyone, despite your educational qualifications, will be illegible to enrol and enhance your farming skills.
“I would like to urge the youths, especially those who are participating in command agriculture, to take this opportunity to gain knowledge as new farmers.”
Mrs Madzime urged farmers to take farming as a business.
“You should take farming as the most viable business in Zimbabwe,” she said. “We have rich soils suitable for various types of agriculture.
“The missing link amongst new farmers is the knowledge on how to exploit the land. Never underestimate farming. A farmer should account for all inputs and outputs.”
Youths from the Midlands province have benefited from Command Agriculture and the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme after Government leased them more than 4 000 hectares of land for the 2017-2018 farming season.