The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union sine 2015 has been implementing the ZFU Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) Empowerment and Entrepreneurship project with funding from Barclays Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and irrigation Development through Agritex Department and the Livestock Production Department (LPD).
With funding from Barclays Bank Zimbabwe to the tune of $70 000-00, phase three of this project aims to enhance the livelihoods of 4.000 young farmers from 40 school sites drawn from 5 provinces: Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Matebeleland South, through agribusiness/entrepreneurship coaching and empowerment.
The project is targeting a total of 100 young farmers per school site who were part of the first and second phases of the ZFU YFCs Empowerment and Entrepreneurship project.
School-based trainings targeted at Enhancing the entrepreneurial, business and financial skills of participating youths, strengthening market and financial linkages will be conducted at MOPSE school facilities by qualified teachers and the lessons will be conducted at varying times based on students and teacher’s agreements.
The project also aims to boost existing micro projects through a micro support fund from Barclays Bank.
The micro grants vary from $500 to $700, depending on the observed needs for boosting.
So far, the recruitment of the 4.000 targeted students was done and completed, the MOPSE teachers were also trained on the modules they are to deliver to the young farmer students and trainings of the young farmers has already started. The modules are on interpersonal, negotiations and marketing skills.
The ZFU YFCs Empowerment and Entrepreneurship project complimented the ‘Fit for Life’ project in which ZFU partnered with UNICEF from 2013-2015 under the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
The Fit For Life project aimed at providing agricultural technical training in both livestock and crops to 31 000 out of school children.
Its objectives, included providing functional literacy and Numeracy, agriculture technical training, and enhancing market linkages.
However, the project lacked other critical elements that enable youths to settle in agriculture, including demonstrable reputation and skills to be able to access loans on their own.
In response to this ZFU partnered with Barclays Bank on an Empowerment and Entrepreneurship for Young Farmer Clubs.
The project was categorised in three phases and its now in its final phase 3 ending June 2018.