Utilise re­search, farm­ers told

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Mashonaland Central & West News - Daniel Chi­gunwe Mash Cen­tral Cor­re­spon­dent

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.

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