MORE than 3, 000 jobs will be created under the Rural Youth Enterprise for Food Security Programme, Ministry of Youth and Sport Permanent Secretary, Agnes Musunga has said.
Ms Musunga said the programme seeks to facilitate sustainable livelihoods among youths in rural areas through the promotion of sustainable micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSME).
She was speaking during the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Sport and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Lusaka yesterday.
Ms Musunga said the programme which is expected to run from September 2014 to August 2017 would seek to improve the financial performance of at least 5000 youth owned rural enterprises.
Ms Musunga said the programme would also boost food security for the local population by way of increasing the volume of production of soya beans and fish.
“Other expected outcome of the programme is the improvement of financial performance of at least 5000 youth owned-managed rural enterprises and to boost food security for the local population by way of increasing the volume of production of soya beans and fish,” she said.
Ms Musunga said Government recognised that promoting decent employment among youths in rural areas was essential in achieving food security and reducing rural poverty.
She said it was for this reason that the Government was actively involving rural communities in development initiatives that would harness local resources and generate opportunities for increased income generation.
“The programme seeks to increase market awareness for the commercialisation potential of selected crops in order to pave way for the successive development of the market systems and maximising of the employment creation effects in the process,” she said.
ILO director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Martin Clemensson said the programme was designed to contribute towards strategic initiatives.
He thanked the ministry for the support provided throughout the inception phase of the programme and its active role as the chair of the programme steering committee.
Mr Clemensson said the success of the programme would depend on partners working closely together.
Times of Zambia