Young farm­ers rev­o­lu­tionise agric sec­tor

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Love­more Kadzura Rusape Cor­re­spon­dent

A NEW revo­lu­tion is blow­ing across the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, as young­sters are aban­don­ing the bright lights of the city in their num­bers to take up farm­ing on a full time ba­sis.

Many youths whose par­ents man­aged to se­cure land dur­ing the agrar­ian re­forms are now be­com­ing more and more in­volved in farm­ing and have taken over op­er­a­tions on the farms with phe­nom­e­nal re­sults.

While most youths viewed stay­ing at the farm as back­ward in the past, things have dras­ti­cally changed as most of them are now down to se­ri­ous farm­ing busi­ness on full time ba­sis.

The Min­istry of Lands, Agri­cul­ture, Wa­ter, Cli­mate and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment is re­port­edly in­un­dated with ap­pli­ca­tions from youths in need of farm­ing land.

In this new revo­lu­tion mil­lion­aires are be­ing cre­ated ev­ery sea­son and one such shin­ing ex­am­ple is Mr Fun­gai Makoni (35), of Chi­tora Farm in Head­lands, Makoni dis­trict.

He was al­lo­cated a 300ha farm in 2012 and through per­se­ver­ance, hard work­ing ac­com­pa­nied by as­tute plan­ning and man­age­ment, he has recorded phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess to earn him­self a spot among some of the top farm­ers in the coun­try.

Mr Makoni had the guts to quit his job as the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for a lux­ury trans­port com­pany, to till the land and has stum­bled on gold.

His farm is highly utilised and mech­a­nised with state-of-the-art equip­ment and ma­chin­ery.

He is into mixed farm­ing —s0 110ha of to­bacco and 100ha of maize plus a few hectares more of sugar beans for the 2018/19 sea­son. Makoni has just har­vested his win­ter wheat that was on 100ha.

He is also an am­bi­tious Bo­ran cat­tle and Boer goat breeder.

So far he has 70 Bo­ran cat­tle and nu­mer­ous Boer goats.

By mid De­cem­ber he will be reap­ing his thriv­ing ir­ri­gated to­bacco crop.

The 100ha of maize was planted un­der ir­ri­gation in Septem­ber to op­ti­mize on a high in­ci­dence of heat units.

Chi­tora Farm em­ploys 163 per­ma­nent work­ers and hires ex­tra labour dur­ing peak­ing pe­ri­ods, for in­stance, dur­ing plant­ing and har­vest­ing.

Last Satur­day, Mr Makoni hosted high pro­file field day that was graced by heavy­weights in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

A lot of in­sights were shared on how he scaled the lad­der of suc­cess at a time when oth­ers were strug­gling.

Mr Makoni at­trib­uted his suc­cess to per­se­ver­ance, hard work, in­tel­li­gent plan­ning and man­age­ment and his hands-on ap­proach.

“You can­not get the best while you prac­tise cell phone farm­ing; it is sim­ply not

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