Practical Action has launched a $ 1,1 million project aimed at economically empowering female farmers through access to renewable energy in Gwanda and Matobo districts.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
Speaking during the launch of the programme in Maphisa yesterday, Practical Action Regional director for Southern Africa, Kudzai Marovanidze said the initiative will have a huge impact on the lives of over 4500 farmers especially women who are the most marginalised.
“I greatly appreciate the support from the Isle of Man and our partnership with Fambidzanai in the effort to improve the lives of women in the semi-arid rural area,” Marovanidze said.
“Practical Action and Fambidzanai will work with the women farmers to establish 18 solar powered irrigation schemes to be run and managed by the women who will be trained on financial and markets literacy and supported by access finance and markets.”
Marovanidze said limited access to affordable energy services is undermining economic development in rural areas and places a high burden on women who undertake many labour intensive activities.
“In Zimbabwe, the national grid only reaches 40% of the population, with most rural areas unserved and living in energy poverty, with minimal chance of accessing grid electricity within the next 15 years,” he said.