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    Sunday, 17 April 2016

    ZFU to train 3 000 farmers in policy formulation






    TARIRO MACHOKOTO

    MASVINGO
    – The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) is embarking on a two-year-project where 3 000 farmers from three districts in Masvingo Province will be trained in policy formulation, advocacy and lobbying.
    Masvingo Provincial Administrator, Felix Chikovo launched the progamme which is called Policy Dialogue for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) at the Flamboyant Hotel on Wednesday last week.
    The project is being sponsored by the European Union. Thirty bicycles and three motor circles have been availed for the project.
    The farmers who are trained will form a pool of agriculturalists who will be consulted whenever Government is to introduce a new Agricultural Policy. These farmers will also initiate Policy formulation by bringing up their own issues and taking them to Government.
    "The aim of the project is to train and equip farmers to be able to take part in policy formulation whether its institutional or Governmental level," said Jeremiah Chimwanda who is the ZFU provincial manager.
    "We are humbled by ZFU and as government we cherish community participation, community involvement, community empowerment, community ownership of all endeavours. It is time farmers join mainstream economic development of our Province and I wish to officially launch this ZFU Inclusive Policy Dialogue for Social /Sustainable Development project," said Chikovo.
    The three districts that have been chosen for the project in the province are Mwenezi, Masvingo and Chivi. Each of the districts will choose 10 wards where 100 farmers will be trained under the project.
    In the past Government would consult farmers under ZFU for policy formulation by merely directing issues to two or three technocrats in the organisation. What these technocrats said would be assumed to be representative of all farmers.
    "Now there is a change of direction and we want all farmers to be involved hence the launch of this programme. We have started with these three districts and we hope to be spreading to others with time," said Chimwanda.
    The President of Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Abdul Nyathi said that this project was launched so as to benefit farmers where they will be able to discuss issues that are problematic in agricultural sectors.
    "There are a number of policies that affect the farming business environment. These include Agricultural Policy, Water Policy, and Environmental Policy, including energy pricing and also the road infrastructure affect the farming environment. This Project aims to empower farmers to meaningfully participate in such dialogue topics and such dialogue has the ultimate aim of informing Government and to enhance private sector participation," said Nyathi.
    Key stakeholders which ZFU will be working with in the Agricultural Sector are Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation Irrigation and Development, Local Government Rural and Urban Development, EMA, Community Based Organisations, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Non Governmental organisations and Private Sector players.
    The project is not only targeting Masvingo Province but also Manicaland and Midlands.local news

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