Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa has launched Provincial Integrated Youths Skills Development Centres (PIYSDC) for the county’s 10 provinces where over 5 000 youths will be recruited at each centre annually before being equipped with agriculture skills.
Speaking during the launch of incubation centres at DCK Farm in Kwekwe, the President described agriculture as one of the major pillars of the country’ economy, hence the Government’s thrust to empower youths who constitute 62% of the total population.
The launch of the incubation centres saw the President distributing nearly 700 heifers which will be shared among youths across all the provinces under the Presidential Heifer Pass-on Scheme as Government moves to empower the younger generation.
Under the Provincial Integrated Youths Skills Development Centres, the President directed each provincial minister to identify a 500-hectare piece of land which would be dedicated to youth projects as part of the Government’s policy to ensure youths participate in national programmes.
“Today’s launch of the Provincial Integrated Youths Skills Development Centres will also see the handover of 698 heifers to young people drawn from all rural districts of the country. This is in line with my Government’s policy to mainstream participation of the youths in national programmes, across all sectors, as well as in politics and governance architecture,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said youths should take keen interest in agriculture, taking advantage of the new Government’s policy of a 20 percent youths quota under the Land Reform Programme. Youths would undergo training at the PIYSDCs which would also act as incubation centres to receive inputs from Government to boost production.
“Youths, who will go through these incubation centres, will receive inputs from Government to kick-start their projects, to boost productivity. The centres will be supported by the various Presidential inputs support schemes including the Heifer Pass-on Support Scheme which saw today over 600 heifers being distributed across the country.”
The President said provinces should start identifying pieces of land to establish agricultural incubation centres for the youths with a view of targeting 500 youths every year. The Ministry of Finance would put a provision in the budget to empower youths in agriculture.
“Each province must have 500 youths empowered per year so my Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, will now put a provision in the budget directed to empowering this programme,” he said.