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Patience’s Story - Finding Economic Empowerment through Agriculture - Video Transcript

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Esnath Divasoni, Core Trainer – Agriculture Guide Program, Zimbabwe [00:00:03] We have the Agriculture Guide program in our communities where we are bridging the gap between the community members and the [Ministry of Agriculture] extension workers, where the trained Agriculture Guides are coming in to facilitate the climate-smart techniques to the community members and allowing them to be more resilient to climate change, be more food secure, and also improve in terms of their yields. We are bringing in the tailor-made techniques that the farmers need and the community deserve so that we can improve on, not only their food security, but also nutrition security. 

Patience Muzondo, CAMFED Association member and Agriculture Guide [00:00:44] I joined the CAMFED Association (CAMA) in 2009. We learnt a lot of skills, we were taught entrepreneurship and teaching children these skills.  I joined the Agriculture Guide [program] in 2020. CAMFED trained us each and every time. We would go back for reviews and be trained on climate-smart agriculture. We didn’t have money to buy fertilizers and pesticides for our gardens. However, after the training, we learned that you can grow your garden using natural methods like organic manure and compost, and apply in your garden. Using climate-smart agriculture, I didn’t use much money as before and I grew potatoes, and I used the money to buy a tractor and add to the other businesses.  So I say smart agriculture has helped me a lot. Right now, I no longer look for resources elsewhere, I have everything around here, and my family is eating well and surviving well.

Columbus Zinyoro, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – Officer & Community Development Committee member [00:02:06] We are very proud of the business that Patie (Patience) is doing because it is appearing that it’s sustainable. She has the land, she managed to acquire land, through the Ministry of Agriculture with the assistance of the DBC (District Business Committee). Our DBC is comprised of quite a number of government departments.  We work very closely together in fulfillment of the role of government. There is a Ministry of Agriculture, there is Women’s Affairs, Youth, Social Development. All these ministries assist the young ladies so that they do viable businesses. Hence, our Patie’s program. It’s quite viable and lucrative. 

Patience Muzondo, CAMFED Association member and Agriculture Guide [00:02:48] Daily, we plow three to four hectares. We till the land for our neighbors so that they can be ready for the farming season. This area has learnt a lot about climate-smart agriculture. We were focusing more on those so called ‘forgotten farmers’ who in turn, taught other people in the community. We would go to their farms and we would do demonstrations on what needs to be done where and how. Back in the day, we used to travel long distances to Wedza, ‘Zaire-local area’ to get access to the mill, queuing for days, waiting for our maize to be processed, but now they can come to the mill and spend a short time and go back home to eat. My biggest wish was to get a milling company that would enable me to mill the maize from my farm using these big machines. I believe I will get there. To all women, agriculture is an easy business which you can do while in your small area. Our agriculture starts with rearing goats, chickens and cattle. You then expand to the fields. I hope young women can emulate what I’m doing because now I have a good life. As a CAMFED Association (CAMA) member, we were also taught about plowing back. I give back to the community from my earnings and I help children in school with stationery and school uniforms. 

Esnath Divasoni, Core Trainer – Agriculture Guide Program, Zimbabwe [00:04:48] Since the start of the Agriculture Guide program, we have noticed improved yields, from the community members that we are working with, and also the adoption of the techniques, especially that are related to small livestock, where we are seeing more community members now depending on chickens, goats and other small livestock in terms of the livestock that they keep. And we have also seen that more community members are adopting the different climate smart techniques, because the Agriculture Guides are coming in with the explanation that sometimes is missing from the vast [majority] of extension workers that they are working with. So they are accepting the techniques that we are bringing in, because they now have the extra explanation that is coming in from the Agripreneurs and the Agriculture Guides. And since the Agriculture Guides are already part of the community, they are seeing the changes from the Agriculture Guides themselves. That’s the community now adopting what the Agriculture Guides and Agripreneurs are teaching. 

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