The government of Zimbabwe through the Office of the President and Cabinet is on an overdrive exercise to capacitate youths in agriculture by providing them with financing and capacity building initiatives to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

The first batch of beneficiaries comprise 25 youths drawn from across the country who are heavily involved in agriculture.

The initiative was born after a realisation that the uptake of agriculture as a business by young people has remained low and thus needs to be improved by bringing in incentives to attract the youth.

“There is more to agriculture than just going into the fields with a hoe. There’s need for the young people to be educated about how agriculture has transformed from being labour intensive to the use of high technology to enhance production,” said the senior principal director, Department of Public Affairs Knowledge Management  in the Office of the President and Cabinet  Ambassador Mary Mubi.

The thrust is to link the strong agricultural roots with the potential that the industry has in terms of the economic multiplier effect, said the programme coordinator Mr Nickros Kajengo.

“The main aim is to lure more youths into agriculture since [agriculture] it is the backborne of the country’s economy, hence the youth need to be more actively involved in such programmes and shape sector,” he said.

The fundamental objective of the programme is to shift from subsistence farming to commercial oriented farming orchestrated by change of youths’ mindset, behaviour change, adoption of modern technologies, business skills and other key structural reforms such as an enabling environment that promotes affordable, climate smart and sustainable agricultural practices.