Agric ministry launches digital platforms for farmers, students

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has said the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is fragile and requires close and continued attention and is seeking to raise US$20m to fight perceived food insecurities in the country.

Rhys Balicholo 

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement has launched three digital platforms that will offer training, specialised information and agricultural solutions as part of efforts to boost productivity in the sector.

In a meeting virtually held today the Ministry of Agriculture through the Permanent Secretary Dr John Basera successfully launched ZimAgriHub, ZimAgriExtension In-Service Training App, and Lead Farmer under the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme.

“The Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme is meant to assist anyone who would want to get scientific and relevant information concerning agriculture, with this online training programme in which you can be taught any agricultural field of your choice” Basera said.

In achieving practical knowledge and curbing the spread of covid-19 virus , the ministry said there will be extension workers in small groups who will be visiting the nearest agricultural colleges. الفرق المتاهله في اليورو 2022

Zim-AgriHub is a virtual agricultural centre of excellence that aims to complement agricultural training and research institutions.

Agro dealers and other companies can advertise their services and products on the platform, while stakeholders can get policy updates.

The platform targets researchers, extensionists, lecturers, students, other stakeholders in the sector plus all farmers. طاولة31

Zim-Agric extension in-service training app is largely for extension staff to upgrade their skills and keep them up to date.

It is a mobile in-service training application offering short-term refresher courses to extension staff in crop and livestock production, farm management and marketing and policy-related issues.

The course’s curriculum includes practicals which will be done and assessed at the nearest agricultural colleges.

This particular app offers self-assessment and evaluation questions at the end of each course. After six months there will be an examination and participants will be awarded a certificate.

Capacity building on how to use the app has already started and in progress and 623 extension staff have so far registered on the app.

The lead farmer online training programme designed for the higher level of farmers themselves.

It is a virtual platform meant to produce a farmer graduate who takes farming as a business and produces for a local and export market.

The programme targets farm managers, supervisors, farm owners and anyone who aspires to be a lead farmer. This farmer will be trained virtually, and practicals will be done at the nearest agricultural college.

The traditional Master Farmer training will continue. This targets mainly communal farmers, farmers in the old resettlement farmers and A1 farmers. Between them these three groups combine the bulk of the farming families and the Government sees moving them into the commercial world as critical in creating an upper middle-income country by 2030.

The ZimAgricExtension In-Service will not only be limited on the digital platform but there will be archives put in place for the physical documents to be stored so that anyone who does not have access to the internet can be able to attain the information that they want.

Basera said the government through the agricultural recovery plan is leaving no one behind in the sector as it is one of the key factors in transforming the economy.

“The development thrust focuses on empowering farmers as well as the agricultural extension policies. This is in view of the need to keep their skill sets abreast to the dynamic changes in the farming landscape and the agricultural landscape as a whole.”

“Plans for the sector are as follows; the agricultural recovery programme which seeks to reverse the issues of imports through import substitution; the agricultural management system that is aimed at livestock recovery growth plan, agricultural growth plan and solar and irrigation plan” Basera has said.

Through the launch of the digital platforms, it shows how the sector is embracing technology complemented by the good agricultural season the country had, the perm sec is confident that 2021/22 agricultural season will be much better. بطولة بلوت

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