Government has recorded an overwhelming response across the country from women clubs applying for grants as start-up capital, Deputy Minister of Gender Dorothy Kazunga has said.
She, however, said the start-up capital project would be implemented by a more comprehensive and inclusive initiative known as the Agricultural Development through Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE).
Mrs Kazunga said this in a speech read on her behalf by Director in the Ministry of Gender Martha Mutumwa during handover of start-up capital to women clubs at Kang’onga centre for the physically challenged in Ndola urban rural.
She said women in the country have realized their potential to contributing to alleviating poverty and reducing hunger in communities.
Mrs Kazunga stated that it has been realized that when women were given freedom to reach their full potential, communities thrived and nations developed.
She said Government had realized that investing in women was the best investment for communities, as most small holder farmers were women.
Mrs Kazunga said the Ministry had achieved a great milestone in empowering clubs hence expanded its mandate by targeting larger groups.
‘It’s in this vein that I wish to urge all of you to join cooperatives to receive revised start-up capital,” she said.
Mrs Kazunga said ADVANCE had been designed to service clubs at an expanded rate.
She said the project did not only have finances for capital projects but also equipment for agricultural purposes.
Mrs Kazunga said agriculture was one sector that government attached great importance and it had come to its attention that farmers were failing to maximize on hectare range using convention methods.
She said it was the wish of government that the country was turned into a food basket via the deliberate policy formulated under the Ministry of Gender.
Mrs. Kazunga urged the beneficiaries of the capital to be creative and determined.
She stated that gender imbalances in society could only be addressed if partnerships between government and communities were removed.
Mrs. Kazunga said Government had noted the many gaps that existed in society which hindered women from making their full potential.