BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a statement yesterday, the financial institution said it recently, handed over $70 000 to the ZFU for the third phase of the Fit for Life programme.
“The additional funding that Barclays is providing to the Fit for Life programme seeks to assist an additional 4 000 young farmers around the country to develop financial capability and make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources; improve the understanding and application of farming business concepts; develop linkages with large enterprises and provide the youth with start-up grants to assist the trained young farmers to set up their businesses,” the bank said.
“The bank has been able to reach more than 30 000 young farmers through a strategic partnership with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union that commenced in February 2015 with an investment of about $500 000.”
Barclays set up the Fit for Life programme to contribute to financial inclusion and food security, as well as educating young farmers from across the country.
The principal director in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, Jacob Gonese, who was the guest of honour at the hand over of the $70 000 recently, said he was impressed because the Fit for Life programme improved the youth’s capacity in agriculture.
Barclays Bank managing director, Sam Matsekete said when they initially partnered with ZFU in 2015, they wanted to make a difference in the lives of “what we believe is the most important element of our country – our youth”.
“Together with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, our aim with the Fit for Life programme has been to assist young farmers to overcome some of the challenges they are facing, challenges that might have inhibited them from accessing basic financial and business skills for sustainable growth in their projects,” he said.
Matsekete said the Fit for Life programme is key to supporting the youth at a grassroots level so they may start contributing to socio-economic solutions.
He said Barclays Bank will continue to engage in sustainable community projects that will have a long term impact on the youth.