REDESO’ Field Officer, Erica Karutha (in orange dress) briefing Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Hon. Anthony Mavunde (in black dress) during his visit to Mwanga’s greenhouse site in Kishapu district (Photo Credit: Isack Jonas/REDESO)

REDESO’ Field Officer, Erica Karutha (in orange dress) briefing Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth and the Disabled), Hon. Anthony Mavunde (in black dress) during his visit to Mwanga’s greenhouse site in Kishapu district (Photo Credit: Isack Jonas/REDESO)

Influencing Policy Makers to support women and youth

“Oxfam and REDESO are pioneers of transformative agriculture practices in the district. The first greenhouse to be constructed in the district was initiated by the two, in Unyanyembe village, when they supported the youth group to expand their tomato gardening,”

are Emmanuel Kitunda’s words, Agriculture Officer, referring to Oxfam’s support to “Mwanga” (Light) youth group from Unyanyembe village that were supported with green house and facilitated with modern techniques of agriculture practices.

The Mwanga’s group members voluntarily collected stones, levelling construction site, cooked for engineers and assisted them with the work on the site; including digging holes for post and beams for wall girts until it was finished. Most materials for the construction were obtained from the village.

As a district youth’s successful program, during a visit of the Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth and the Disabled) to the district, he was taken to see Mwanga’s green house. He was impressed and request the district to do the same, for youth development program.

As a result, the district spent USD 5,500 to construct bigger green house for the youth program and has adapted Oxfam’s youth empowerment approach for adaptation of new practices for sustainable agriculture using simple technologies.

“After the deputy minister’s visit, we agreed to use the same approach that was applied by Oxfam and REDESO in empowering women and youth in the district,” narrates Emmanuel Kitundu, Agriculture Officer and District Contact Person for Oxfam’s intervention.

Emmanuel has been conducting training session to members of Mwanga group to adapt the techniques of modern farming as part of Oxfam’s women and youth empowerment program. Because of his involvement with the program, the authority has task him to oversee the youth development program in the district.

He has conducted the same training to 20 youth (10 women and 10 men) from five different wards, in the district. The 20-identified youth were ranged between 18 and 35 years of age. They were trained how to construct greenhouse using available resources in their areas. The district youth programme is expected to create employment and generating income.

The district is planning to conduct series training to 80 new youth who will work together with agriculture and extension officers. The aim of the training is to spread the knowledge of new technologies and modern techniques of agriculture to youth and women.