GWERU: A Gweru woman with a disability has defied the odds after turning her 10-hectare farm into a horticulture paradise, proving to many that that disability is not inability.
Through her work, Senator Anna Shiri, who is famed for advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, has become the envy of many, after she has turned every inch of her farm into a viable business entity.
The former legislator got a 10-hectare farm from the government in 2014 and has not looked back since then.
Through the government-sponsored climate-proof Pfumvudza/ Intwasa program, Senator Shiri is looking forward to a minimum of seven tonnes of maize per hectare.
She is also expecting a minimum of 80 tonnes of potatoes from the two hectares she planted this summer cropping season.
“It was a bit difficult when we came here. It was all a bushy area. I have to thank the Zimbabwe Prisons Services for providing the much-needed labor which assisted us in clearing all this land.
“The government schemes have also come in handy as we have been benefiting to make us grow. They all say musha mukadzi (a woman is the pillar of a home) and as such I want to encourage other women to do well in their pursuit of greatness. Nothing should stand on our way in whatever we do,” she said.
Senator Phiri, who also diversified into animal husbandry with thriving piggery and goat projects, underscored the importance of self-sustenance as opposed to living on handouts.
“Sometimes people tend to look at their conditions and think that they can’t maneuver in this challenging world. We need to stand up as women, as people with disability, and say to ourselves this is our time.
“I want to thank the government for recognizing people living with disabilities as we are often included in many programs. Doing wonders through excelling is, therefore, the best thanks we can give,” she added.
Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the National Disability Policy with a view to ensure people with disabilities are not left out on the national development agenda.