By Manicaland Bureau
GRADUATES from agricultural colleges have come together to form a coalition that seeks to tap into their technical expertise and help develop Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector.
Aptly named the Coalition of Agricultural Graduates of Zimbabwe (CAGOZ), the group seeks to promote agriculture through recruiting agriculture graduates to participate in developing country’s agricultural system.
In an interview with The Herald, CAGOZ liaison officer, Mr Simon Mukweva, said the organisation was independent and drew its membership from students graduating from agricultural colleges.
They will soon be approaching Government requesting for some land on which to showcase their farming skills and create business in Zimbabwe.
“We are targeting students who graduated from colleges be it universities or polytechnics as long as they own a certificate or degree which shows that they have a qualification in agriculture,” said Mr Mukweva.
“We are planning to request President Mnangagwa to help us with land so that we can showcase our farming abilities for the good of the country’s economy. To join the coalition, one has to pay an affiliation fee of $10.
“Formation of the coalition was mooted in February this year, by a small number of agricultural graduates who realised that in Zimbabwe there were many ,but were not participating actively in the farming sector.”
Mr Mukweva said the association was formed in a bid to represent agricultural graduates who did not have land to showcase their farming abilities.
“It started in February 2018 and the first meeting was conducted on March 31, then it was registered in April,” he said. “It now has 500 members at national level, but we hope the figure grows to 700. We have offices at the Harare Agricultural Show grounds and in Manicaland we are still looking for an office.”
Mr Mukweva said they were now going to all provinces mobilising agricultural graduates to join.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our economy,” he said. “At one point we were the breadbasket of Africa, producing and exporting agricultural products to different countries. We want to go back to that status.”
Mr Mukweva said agricultural graduates had the knowledge and science of farming hence they deserved to have their own land.
“Some of the graduates rent pieces of land which is expensive, but they have all the knowledge about farming,” he said.
“The President is always saying that we must be hands-on, so let every Zimbabwean help to revive the economy, and that is what we want to do.”