Urban farming project launched

Agriculture ministry chief director Leonard Munamati urged the youth to embrace the project

YOUTHS have been urged to embrace smart innovative methods of farming in cities to ensure food security in the face of the devastating effects of climate change.

This was said by an official in the Lands, Agriculture and Water ministry during the launch of an urban futures project funded by HIVOs in partnership with Botnar Foundation in Bulawayo last week.

The programme runs under the theme A climate resilient, smart, inclusive and safe city with sustainable, youth-led indigenous and evolving modern food systems where citizens are more conscious of their actions.

Agriculture ministry chief director Leonard Munamati urged the youth to embrace the project

“We need to engage in farming activities that do not contribute to soil erosion, pollution. We need to desist from stream bank cultivation and protect wetlands,” Munamati said.

“The urban Futures Programme will support youths to employ smart innovative methods of farming such as hydroponics, aquaculture, mushroom production, and promotion of greenhouse farming.”

Munamati believes the new innovative methods in agriculture are key in transforming food systems and boosting food security.

“Through this project, we want to make agriculture a business and this is in line with achieving our country’s 2030 vision of becoming an upper middle-income society,” he said.

“In order to achieve this, there is a significant need for the increase of production and productivity. We want to make our cities green through practising horticulture activities like planting fruit trees in our home gardens and this will improve nutrition and income.

In Bulawayo, the project will be implemented through a consortium which consists of a number of organisations including the Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association, the African Food Revolution, Green Hut, Lupane State University, National Association of Youth Organisation and the Unemployed and Vulnerable Foundation Trust.

Speaking on behalf of the council, councillor Mpumelelo Moyo said: “The city is excited that the implementing partners are a consortium of organisations that are from Bulawayo and have a great understanding of the needs of the city.”

Hivos regional co-ordinator for the Urban Futures Project (Zimbabwe and Zambia), Runyararo Chibota, also encouraged the youth to embrace the project.

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