SEKE couple yesterday provided pig gilts and boars to start a piggery project at Portugal Farm in Seke, complementing efforts by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa to economically empower widows, the elderly, the disabled, youths and former ladies of the night, among many other vulnerable groups.
The First Lady recently handed over the farm which is situated in Seke to the groups as she forged ahead with her empowerment initiatives to restore the dignity of women and reduce idleness which led youths into mischief.
She took the programme to all the country’s 10 provinces.
A hands-on person, Amai Mnangagwa has spared no effort in ensuring that she reaches every corner of the country to get first-hand information on issues affecting people mostly women and underprivileged groups and provide tangible solutions.
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development partnered the First Lady’s Angel of Hope foundation and availed the land after hearing the plight of the vulnerable groups and seeing Amai Mnangagwa’s hard work.
Already, there is a thriving maize crop for which the First Lady through her foundation sourced seed, fertilisers and personally participated in the weeding.
They also planted groundnuts, round nuts, sorghum, cowpeas, millet and sweet potatoes.
Agritex officers were on the ground working with the beneficiaries on the farm.
Plans are afoot to start income-generating projects for the beneficiaries at the farm hence the coming in of Mr Christopher Matanhire and his wife Kudzanai with a donation of pigs.
One of the reasons why pig farming is very lucrative is that pigs multiply really fast.
One mature female pig can give birth to between eight and 18 piglets at a time.
They have a high resistance to diseases and adapt easily to most environments.
The couple said they were charmed by the First Lady’s tireless efforts to ease the plight of the less privileged, hence their decision to chip in.
“We started this project two years ago after realising that a pig is cheap to rear as it only requires food. If a pig consumes enough food, it can grow exceptionally well and lead to maximum profits. I got information that Amai, the First Lady is assisting communities and realised I needed to lend her a helping hand because alone she cannot manage to handle the pressure of capacitating all those in need.
“Most of the beneficiaries of the farm are women hence, I realised that piggery requires feeding and women can cope because they are natural caregivers,” he said.
Mr Matanhire said a pig can multiply itself 50 times a year, making it a viable source of income.
“I was gratified by the First Lady’s zeal and decided to give her a helping hand. In fact, I am also willing to teach the beneficiaries how it is done because I have the knowledge.
“When it comes to diseases, there are no big challenges concerning pigs. We can develop our country into a major producer of pork even for export if the beneficiaries fully embrace the projects which Amai is initiating,” he said.
Mrs Kudzanai Matanhire said she was excited to provide assistance to the mother of the nation who has unveiled countless life-changing projects for the less privileged.
“We are pig producers and our breed is Duroc and Large White. We saw it fit to assist the First lady in her programme of uplifting women so we are giving her the seed to start the project because pigs can multiply fast. I urge all those with means to come on board and assist the First Lady in her efforts to improve our country,” she said.
Wife to Chief Seke, Mrs Naume Chimanikire, paid tribute to the First Lady for her vision which has transformed lives.
“I am grateful to the First Lady for the programme she started here in Seke which is assisting single mothers, the elderly and people living with disabilities among many other groups. We are thankful that she found us land at Portugal Farm where there are works to uplift the vulnerable groups. After seeing that Amai is assisting citizens a lot, Mr and Mrs Matanhire came and offered to lend a helping hand. They offered 12 pigs towards the project and I am thankful for that. I am also glad about the First Lady’s vision. She is assisting everyone in the country without being selective. I encourage wives of chiefs countrywide to keep on supporting our mother the First Lady so that she fulfils her vision,” she said.
Also thankful for the programme rolled out by the First Lady were members of the community, who hailed her as a champion of economic empowerment.
Said Mrs Brenda chirenje: “I thank the First Lady for the programme that she brought here is Seke. I also thank Mr Matanhire who has donated pigs for the project to thrive. Amai has lessened the burden on people without anyone to look after them, especially single women who were now roaming the streets resorting to prostitution,” she said.
Mrs Clarisa Dzingai echoed similar sentiments.
“I am grateful for the programme that was unveiled by the first lady to uplift people in Mashonaland East Province and the country at large. I encourage women to continue working hard and unite for the success of these projects being initiated by Amai. If we work hard using our hands, all things fall into place,” she said.
Mr Dick Chambuka, another Seke villager, thanked the First Lady for the programme she was running in Mashonaland East at the farm.
“This programme under which she is looking after orphans, former ladies of the night and youths among other groups is good and helps us youths understand what life is. We must not live without a purpose and plan for the future.
“Amai by unveiling these projects, she wants us as youths to stay away from mischief and be able to work using our hands. Amai struck the right chord for us and we are forever grateful.
“She opened our eyes and now we are able to see that abusing drugs and alcohol won’t take us anywhere but working hard will make our lives bearable. We are thankful for the pig donation by Mr and Mrs Matanhire and we promise Amai that we will take this piggery project up. It is going to be a success,” he said.