Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has increased its support to young farmers in the country, with an additional $70 000 financial package.
The financial institution is in partnership with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) in a programme titled, “Fit For Life” which supports emerging farmers.
The project is now in its third phase with the bank pumping more than $500 000 since its launch in 2015.
Recently, the bank unveiled an additional $70 000 at the launch of the third phase at Nyamashato Primary School in Murehwa.
The programme, which aims to contribute to financial inclusion and food security, will up-skill, educate and impact over 30 000 young farmers from across the country.
“The additional funding that Barclays is providing to the ‘Fit for Life’ programme seeks to assist an additional 4,000 young farmers around the country to develop financial capability and make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.
“As well improve the understanding and application of farming business concepts; develop linkages with large enterprises and provide the youth with start-up grants to assist the trained young farmers to set up their businesses,” the bank said in a statement.
Speaking at the recent official launch, Barclays Managing Director, Sam Matsekete said, “When we initially partnered with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union in 2015, we were clear that we wanted to make a difference in the lives of what we believe is the most important element of our country – our youth. Together with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union our aim with the “Fit for life programme” has been to assist young farmers to overcome some of the challenges they are facing, challenges that might have inhibited them from accessing basic financial and business skills for sustainable growth in their projects”.
The guest of honour, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Principal Director Jacob Gonese said that he was particularly impressed with the partnership of Zimbabwe Farmers Union and Barclays Bank because it has given birth to projects that have improved the capacity of youths in agriculture.
He added that the project continues to change the lives of many youths who did not manage to continue with their formal education, and also requires persistence and determination from the beneficiaries for it to be successful.
Matsekete added that Barclays has been in Zimbabwe for over 106 years and has contributed tremendously to the agriculture industry.
“We seek to play our part to ensure that tomorrow is better than today and this includes the future of the communities that we operate in. We remain a part of the community and we are passionate about leaving things better than we found them,” he said.