K120 Million Grant for Improved Livelihoods in Neno
Tigawe Luso Cooperative chairperson Rozario Chimbetete has encouraged people suffering from Non-Communicable diseases to form cooperatives as a way of generating enough income for improvement of their diets and livelihoods.
He told Zodiak Online today in Neno during a grant signing ceremony, that these people together with others should join hands in engaging in legume farming, describing it as a booming business.
"I would like to encourage people living with non-communicable diseases to see upon themselves as equally productive citizens and at least engage in farming to improve their health and income", he said.
Chimbetete disclosed that in their 222-member cooperative, they have 45 members who are suffering from NCDs.
He says for them to have good diets, they are growing legumes like soybeans and pigeon peas for both consumption and sell, with plans to purchase goats on pass-on program, chickens and construct a fish pond using the K120 million grant they have received.
United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) Country Programs Coordinator Linda Ndovie Jere while handing over the K120 million cheque to the cooperative, she encouraged women to take a leading role in cooperatives as a way of women empowerment.
The CPC then stressed out the need for women to take active part in formulation and operations of cooperatives saying they are the ones who understands well the needs of their families and mostly take care of the sick.
Meanwhile, Neno Principal Agriculture officer Mayamiko Diana Zambezi hailed USADF saying their grants are improving food security in the district.
USADF has lined up 14 cooperatives to receive ranging grants in Neno district and has so far reached 9 under the government program of Livelihood Improvement (LIP).
The grant based organisation which receives its funding from Hemsley Charitable trust also encourages the cooperatives to engage in environmental protection through among other things planting trees and using commendable pesticides.