SA-based couple supports Zimbabwe food security drive
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
ZIMBABWEANS in the diaspora have started responding to the Government’s call for them to actively participate in the country’s economic recovery initiatives and contribute to attainment of an upper-middle income economy by 2030.
A South African-based couple, Anthony and Zandile Denga have decided to support the agriculture sector and help increased productivity.
Through their company, Africa Grain and Seeds Association, the couple recently donated horticulture seed varieties worth R100 000 to small-holder farmers in Matabeleland provinces.
The beneficiaries were selected through the Department of Social Welfare in liaison with Agritex.
It is understood that AGS project seeks to capacitate over 50 000 people in different communities who use rain-fed farming or water harvesting methods to improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security.
In a recent interview, Mrs Denga, who was born in Plumtree said she was inspired by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank who championed the “Africa’s pathway out of poverty” to want to actively participate in programmes that enhance food and nutrition security.
“The seeds have a Pan-African vision. Our aim is to create an agriculture network across Africa where these communities can trade and sustain themselves,” she said.
“We believe if we play our small roles in making a change, in the next 10 years AGS will have empowered over 100 million people throughout Africa”.
AGS founder and chairman, Mr Denga who comes from Murewa, also called on the private sector to join hands and play their part in supporting community projects that make a difference in ordinary people’s livelihoods.
He said some of the beneficiaries include, polytechnic colleges, universities, secondary schools in Matabeleland North and South province, irrigation projects in Gwanda, Bulilima, and Esigodini districts, and Murewa communities.
The seeds, he said, were of South African origin and they guarantee high output production that will help improve financial stability among the beneficiaries.
Mr Denga said the donation was a boost to the Government, which is already working with other partners to increase productivity in the agriculture sector.
Already, the Government’s Pfumvudza/Intwasa climate proofing programme is expected to bear positive results during the 2020/2021 summer cropping season.
The AGS donations were facilitated through a function recently held at Sacred Heart School in Esigodini and coincided also with a Zoom launch meeting attended by Umzingwane Member of Parliament, Cde Levy Mayihlome.
At the Zoom launch, international companies expressed their commitment to the country and the members at large.
Mr Daniel Da Silva who is the managing director of 24 Solutions Telecommunication and Technology, a company that partnered with AGS for farming technology awareness, said they were looking at more people-driven and value addition projects.
He said they will soon be holding seminars to educate people on how to use technology and to make use of it to its full potential.
“Through technology and innovation, we aim to tailor solutions and packages to best suit communities with the best farming techniques,” he said.