Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset) is bearing fruit in Umzingwane District where communities have recorded improvement in food security and nutrition, an official has said.
Zim-Asset is a five-year economic development programme (2013-18) that is anchored on four clusters – food security and nutrition, infrastructure and utilities, value addition and beneficiation as well as social services and poverty eradication.
The blueprint seeks to harness the country’s abundant natural resources and human capital to derive economic gains and create millions of jobs.
Speaking at a field day in the district on Tuesday, acting district administrator Mrs Siphathisiwe Mlotshwa said Zim-Asset has improved the livelihoods of small grain farmers and set the pace for many communities in drought prone Matabeleland South province.
“Today we see the fruits of Zim-Asset because with these small grains people’s livelihoods are improved and these crops are resistant to drought. This ensures that food security increases for the better for the people of Umzingwane district,” she said.
Mrs Mlotshwa added that people in her district have praised Zim-Asset saying the initiative has managed to bring society to work together for the development of their country.
She said challenged communities to discard the dependency syndrome by actively participating in Government programmes to ensure that their lives are improved.
Speaking at the same event Caritas Zimbabwe development coordinator for Bulawayo, Mr Welcome Sibanda, said his organisation was working in line with the Zim-Asset’s long term food security, access to clean water and sanitation goals.
“The programmes we always do in different regions are in line with the Zim-Asset, which stresses a strong point on infrastructural development, long term food security, access to clean water and sanitation. We always help people in different farming activities and here in this region we have so far helped 1 546 farmers to be self sufficient,” he said.
Caritas has supported farmers with inputs and has its extension support team working with Agritex officers to capacitate farmers. A majority of villagers who participated in the programme are expecting positive yields.
Meanwhile, host farmer and winner, Mr Alson Mbuyazwe, gave praise to the Caritas Zimbabwe for giving him a plough for his hard work.
“I want to thank Caritas for the prize (plough) and this shows that hard work pays. All due respect goes to my family and the local community for supporting me and surely working together as people makes societies grow big,” he said.
Mr Mbuyazwe was the best small grains farmer in the district.