EU partners local farmers union to empower farmers

The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) in partnership with the European Union is implementing a project to build economic literacy among resettled farmers.

The Inclusive Policy Dialogue for Social Development (IPDSD) project targets strengthening farmers from grass root to national level, by improving their economic literacy and participation in policy formulation.

ZFU president Abdul Nyathi said IPDSD will be implemented in 10 districts of three provinces Midlands, Mashonaland and Manicaland, the former with three districts while the later will have four districts.

Nyathi, who was speaking at an inception workshop of IPDSD recently said there was need to integrate farmers in policy decision making and economic welfare issues to enable them to fully participate in the economy.

“The project seeks to strengthen ZFU farmer structures from village to national level. It also seeks to improve the economic literacy of rural farmers.

“This project aims to objectively empower farmers’ participation [with] the ultimate aim of informing government and to enhance private sector participation in issues of interest to farmers,” he said.

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Nyathi said guided by government program of food security and sustainance with a thrust on bringing all stakeholders together.

He said through this support service ZFU will push forward with irrigation as a key enabler to farming to increase productivity among farmers.

“By and large through such projects that we are participating in are guided by the ZIMASSET program on the issue of food sustainance and security, that’s why we have brought together all stakeholders,” he said.

He added that, “We are going to push from the private sector that we need irrigation it is irrigation that can actually make us move, this issue becomes paramount, and we are even encouraging farmers to harvest water.”

Nyathi said through the extension of an envelope from the European Union, they had secured bicycles and motor cycles for district monitors to use in their outreach work.

He said the EU package was stimulating conscious thinking among farmers over the strategic importance of agriculture in the economy.