Barclays donates to ZFU

HARARE - Barclays Bank Zimbabwe has donated $70 000 to the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) under third phase of the “Fit for Life” programme which is aimed at contributing to financial inclusion and food security in the country.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at Nyamashato Primary School in Murewa, Barclays managing director Sam Matsekete said the bank had been able to reach more than 30 000 young farmers through this strategic partnership with the ZFU that commenced in February 2015 with an investment of about $500 000.

“When we initially partnered with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union in 2015, we were clear that we wanted to make a difference in the lives of what we believe is the most important element of our country —  our youth,” he said.

“Together with the Zimbabwe Farmers Union our aim with the Fit for life programme has been to assist young farmers to overcome some of the challenges they are facing, challenges that might have inhibited them from accessing basic financial and business skills for sustainable growth in their projects,” Matsekete said.

The additional funding that Barclays is providing to the Fit for Life programme seeks to assist an additional 4 000 young farmers around the country to develop financial capability and make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.

It is also aimed at improving the understanding and application of farming business concepts; develop linkages with large enterprises and provide the youth with start-up grants to assist the trained young farmers to set up their businesses.

Matsekete said Barclays has been in Zimbabwe for over 106 years and has contributed tremendously to the agriculture industry.

The programme is the key to supporting the youth at a grassroots level so that they may start contributing to socioeconomic solutions.

“We seek to play our part to ensure that tomorrow is better than today and this includes the future of the communities that we operate in.

“We remain a part of the community and we are passionate about leaving things better than we found them,” he said.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe will continue to engage in sustainable community projects that will have a long- term impact on the youth and our wider community.

Guest of honour, ministry of Primary and Secondary Education principal director Jacob Gonese said he was particularly impressed with the partnership of ZFU and Barclays Bank because it had given birth to projects that have improved the capacity of youths in agriculture.

He said the project continues to change the lives of many youths who did not manage to continue with their formal education, and also requires persistence and determination from the beneficiaries for it to be successful.

— The Financial Gazette

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