GWERU- Youth here have been urged to roll up their sleeves and make use of the land they have to turn around the economic fortunes of the country.
A youth drive movement, Youth Essence, last week launched its sweet potatoes market gardening project, which aims to address the food security sector and improve the financial standing of the participating youth.
The project was launched as part of the implementation process of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) being championed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as part of efforts to turnaround the economy.
The program also aims to contribute towards government's vision of accelerated value addition and employment creation among other issues in order to achieve a middle income economy by 2030.
Speaking after the launch in Delsyford, Gweru, Ward 3 councillor Doubt Ncube told TellZim News that it was time youth in Midlands embark on the utilisation of available natural resources like land to spearhead economic development.
Ncube encouraged young people to use their hands and skills to enrich their communities
"Let me take this opportunity to encourage our youths to engage in agriculture. I greatly commend Youth Essence for leading by example, as there is need to utilise land to sustain our livelihood.
"Agriculture is the backbone of our country and active production helps us address food security in our country. It also helps us reduce the import bill on grains so as youth I urge you to venture into diverse cropping as well," said Ncube.
Youth Essence director Nobuhle Mahlahla said it’s prudent for youths to be drivers of the agricultural sector.
"As for our project, we have started with sweet potato production because they are easy to plant and we saw it fit to take advantage of the rains which are upon us because sweet potatoes do well in these wet conditions.
“We look forward to engage with agricultural experts and institutions such as SeedCo, Farm & City, Ministry of Agriculture and Agritex officers so that they further equip us with more farming skills and knowledge. Our plan is to extend our project to potatoes and beans production as well as poultry.
"Our project is moving in line with the NDS 1 which calls for youth involvement and participation in national development. Having chosen the field of agriculture, we saw that food security is of paramount importance. It is our hope that through the help of our government and parent ministry, as youths we will get farms and equipment to further our initiatives,” said Mahlahla.