Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, this week distributed small grains and rolled out a donkey project in Matabeleland South as part of measures to augment draught power and boost food security in the province.
Matabeleland South Province is located on the edge of the Kalahari Basin, giving it an arid climate.
Its economy is dominated by agriculture, with 83 percent of employed people in the province working in farming. Cattle ranching and tourism also contribute to the economy.
Small grains are drought-tolerant and disease resistant while donkeys are key animals in drought-prone areas because of their sheer power and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.
They are also used as traction animals in rural areas by small-scale farmers.
In these days of fuel challenges, donkeys can ferry perishables like milk and vegetables to the market thereby saving on fuel costs.
The First Lady was represented by Ms Getrude Manyimo from her office as she had other engagements across the country.
Amai Mnangagwa has a passion forZimbabwe’’s economic revival and has been touring the length and breadth of the country promoting agricultural production and setting up income-generating projects for communities.
Her major strength is that she provides solutions that are specific to the needs of a particular area.
She has also been providing seed and initiating income-generating projects for vulnerable communities.
The current programme has seen the First Lady distributing small grain seeds in Tsholotsho, Bulilima and Binga Simatelele, where a goat rearing project has also been introduced.
Small grains, Amai Mnangagwa said, were important since they did not require much water and farmers were assured of harvesting something even in seasons of low rainfall.
The Angel of Hope Foundation patron has this year distributed small grain seeds to farmers across all the country’s provinces to ensure they achieve food self-sufficiency and have at least surplus to send their children to school.
The Doma community in Kanyemba also benefited as they received the small grain seeds