First Capital Bank, a financial services company, recently provided farming equipment and seeds to Chemhondoro Primary School’s Young Farmers Club in Murewha, Masholand Central, and the intervention is expected to turn around the club’s fortunes, which had recently been beset by operational challenges.
The club of 50 learners from the school was established in 2012 and recently resumed operations after almost two years of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Club has a large garden with banana plantations with tens of plants and a variety of vegetables, all of which are intended to generate revenue for the school as part of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union’s (ZFU) initiative to foster young children’s interest in farming through young farmers clubs in the country’s educational institutions.
First Capital donated two 1000litre water tanks, Onion seeds x45, Tomato seeds x45, cabbage macanta x45, mesh wire x6rolls, four petrol water pumps, eight knapsack and 11 Compound S fertilisers.
“We hope this will help our kids to continue farming not only at school but to also impart what they are taught here into their homes,” First Capital, Consumer banking director, Angela Kamhiriri said.
“We look forward to more value adding opportunities within our partnership with ZFU.”
One of the greatest challenges the club has been facing since its inception in 2012 is the availability of water for its farming activities.
One protected well was insufficient to meet all of the school’s farming demands, especially when considering that elementary school students must bring buckets of water every day to irrigate the large garden, which is expected to be a substantial source of revenue.
To add on to the challenges is the frequent invasion of livestock, mainly goats from the neighboring community resulting is loss of produce.
The donation hence speaks to the challenges the school’s farmers club has been faced with.
In 2015, ZFU collaborated with First Capital and undertook financial literacy programs with school children on top of financing various agricultural projects.
“Prior to the event we have in conjunction with First Capital Bank been teaching young children in the primary, secondary sectors as well as school dropouts the skills they need to become farmers,” ZFU executive director, Paul Zakariya said.
In 2012 the school participated in the Conservation Agriculture project supported by Norad and in the CA demo sites competition in 2013 the school came third before coming first in both the 2014 and 2016 editions.