Small grains project to transform lives in Hwange


THE Jambezi Small Grains Producers’ (Jaspro) farm house was on Tuesday launched in Hwange district, amid calls for the region to tap into the new development to eradicate poverty.

Nokuthaba Dlamini
Own correspondent

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, COSV co-ordinator Joseph Amato from Italy, said the project was aimed at eradicating poverty in Hwange and Binga District and to equip the agricultural market in the region.

“The project was called for by the local authorities to erase the situation of hunger and poverty following the drought of 2004 to 2008,” he said.

“There was a serious drought which hit the two regions, hence an emergency call for COSV to rescue the region.

“In the long term, the project aims to transform the whole region in a strategic farming way, where they are taught about the suitable seeds to plant in their soils so that they produce good yields.”

Amato said the project was also meant to teach farmers on conservation and how to use natural resources sparingly for the best yields.

Provincial agricultural extension officer Dumisani Mbikwa Nyoni said the region was lagging behind in agricultural activities.

“Matabeleland North province has inadequate labour for agricultural activities and has the highest number of children not at school due to financial constraints,” he said. “This project, however, seeks to ensure that farming is seen as a business to eradicate such poverty and develop social involvement and solidarity within the communities and beyond.

“We are fortunate that the opening of Jaspro farm house is in line with the food security and nutrition cluster in the ZimAsset document.”

Teclar Nkosi, one of the Jambezi villagers and also a farmer, expressed gratitude to COSV for transforming their lives by building them a farm house and educating them about the suitable seeds to sow in their region.

“This project has transformed us from poverty in the whole area, as it does not encourage people to gain money through this project, but instead it encourages people to use their hands tilling the land to get food for their families,” she said.

“Since I was born, we used to sow maize and as a result we had never reaped good yields, but COSV has taught us that each soil is rich, but it depends on the type of seed that you sow.

“For the past four years we have been sowing SV4 early maturity sorghum and wheat, which they donated and change has been noted in people’s attitudes, farming methods and yielding of good results thus as leading to the construction of a farm house.”

At least 10 000 people are involved in the project from the two districts, specialising in farming small grains and the results are said to be good.