Utilise research, farmers told
FARMERS have been urged to tap into research to gain knowledge on how to improve productivity and boost yields.
Addressing farmers at a field day held at Mr Toddy Muchongwe’s Earling Farm in Mvurwi early this week, Farming Systems Researcher Mr Felix Murimbarimba applauded the land reform programme and called on farmers to invest more in research that usher in new dynamics of farming and productivity.
“We thank the Government for the land reform programme, which has allowed us to show our capacity as black farmers.
“As researchers, we have discovered that about 50 percent of farmers are now driving cars after getting farms. Local economies have expanded and business investment is on the rise.
“However, we still have to research on what can be done for us to reach commercial farming standards.
“We should seek knowledge from agriculture experts so that we can boost food security in our country,” he said.
Host farmer, Mr Muchongwe, who had 52 hectares under maize and is targeting 520 tonnes, urged farmers to focus more on productivity. He urged them to embrace new agronomics practices that increase yields.
“It is important that farmers shift from the traditional way of measuring productivity by the number of hectares alone, but use the yield per plant unit.
“That is to say plant population in the field should be the key guiding factor in yield enhancement,” he said.
The field day was attended by several agriculture stakeholders including SeedCo Zimbabwe, Agritex field extension officers, University of Zimbabwe soil scientists and Agricura experts in animal husbandry.
Agritex officer Mrs Jennifer Mazhuwa, reiterated the importance of field days.
“It is important for people to learn so as to excel in farming. Field days are important as we learn things to do with soil type and seed that is ideal for our areas and we go for shows where we market our harvest.”
Mvurwi is one of the fastest growing towns in Mashonaland Central largely due to the activities of Mashonaland Tobacco Company, City Fresh and Forrester Estates, which offer employment to a large number of the people.