Two Zimbabwean farmers, products of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union young farmers programme Ruramiso Mashumba and Bright Nezomba yesterday got a standing ovation from delegates attending the Youth in Agriculture Summit for Southern Africa, at the Durban Olive Convention centre when videos of their successful agricultural stories were beamed live to an appreciative audience drawn from youths and agricultural academics from the SADC REGION.
The summit which kicked off on the 3rd of August 2015, will run until the 6th of August 2015, and it is being held under the theme, “ UNLOCKING AGRI BUSSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH IN SOUTHERN AFRICA”, organized by the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa, a SADC wing.
Manicaland based Nezomba, a banana farmer from the Honde Valley region, was ecstatic after the presentation, as he felt the presentation gave a positive picture on the need to uplift young farmers in the region.
“l have benefited much from agricultural activities, and have managed to transform our homestead into a modern one, and creating employment for my fellow youths in my area. However, with more funding l can still increase the volume of my produce, and l also want to explore the lucrative international market”, said Nezomba.
Mashumbas’ story was equally inspiring. The female young farmer who studied in England, among other places, retraced her steps to Marondera where she is running a successful horticulture business. Breaking the gender barrier and venturing into the male dominated agricultural field, Mashumba has defied the odds, by demonstrating a hands on approach, as she leads her workers from the front in her agricultural activities in Marondera.
“It is an honour to be appreciated at this level, l hope our story will inspire all the young farmers at this summit and beyond. I am also grateful to the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (Z.F.U.) profiling programme which is helping us to reach out to potential funders and partners as l believe the youth are the future of agriculture in Zimbabwe”, said Mashumba.
A number of organizations are taking part at this summit as organizations seek to find ways of unlocking sustainability plans through agricultural activities.
The photos below show the delegates from Zimbabwe on the opening day of the summit.