YOUTHS and women from six of the country’s 10 provinces are set to benefit from goat and pigs rearing project funded by the European Union.

Unveiled last week to run till 2023, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme is set to be implemented in districts of Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and South provinces.

The project runs under the theme Value chain alliance for livestock upgrading empowerment.

It is facilitated by ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) in partnership with Mercy Corps, COSV and four livestock producers, Sash Holdings (Shamiso Farm), Zvikomborero Farm, Michview Enterprises and Braford Investment.

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“This project will positively impact on the economic opportunities for 800 000 small-scale goat farmers and 56 000 small-scale pig farmers, primarily small to medium-scale producers, who are currently stuck at different sub-optimal stages of commercialisation and growth,” Toendepi Kamusewu, the AAZ head of programmes and policy said in a statement.

Women will constitute 60% of the beneficiaries targeted by the project, while the youth will constitute the remaining 40%.

The project aims to improve the capacity of smallholder farmers, especially women and youths to improve their goat and pig breeds, mobilise themselves to access viable markets as well as production and organisational efficiencies in partnership with private sector livestock players.

The programme is also targeting goat and pig value chains such as research institutions, private companies to provide services to farmers, large goat and pig farms, abattoirs, independent butcheries, chain supermarkets and consumers.