EFFORTS to improve food security in semi-arid areas are gaining traction in Mbire with 10 000 villagers having received vegetable seeds for their nutrition gardens.
Mbire experiences dry weather conditions exacerbated by climate change and as such realising good crop yields is a tall order in the area.
In that regard, Mbire legislator Honourable Douglas Karoro who is also Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has stepped in to boost food nutrition through a vegetable seed distribution program.
“We started this program at the request of villagers through their councillors. Right now, vegetable seed prices are high for villagers and the product is also scarce.
“So, the intention is for them to farm and eat and after that, they also sell if there is enough leftover. This concept we also borrow from the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa to have villagers dry and store vegetables in the event there is no more water they will eat from their stocks,” he said.
Villagers have keenly taken up farming of vegetables to ensure self-reliance.
“This area was marginalised but now we are being remembered. We thank the MP for the empowerment project and with the bridge, he helped build recently we can cross over and sell our produce,” said one of the villagers.
In Ward 7 there are 9 functional gardens according to Councillor Elijah Manjerwa with villagers bearing testimony to the projects’ success.
“Each garden can support up to 50 people. Some have boreholes and others don’t so the major challenge we have here is water,” said Manjerwa.
Mbire district is expecting very low yields following a dry summer cropping season and villagers are relying on every available resource to boost household food security.