27 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Msipa Hails Contract Farming

FORMER Midlands provincial Governor and farmer Cde Cephas Msipa has called on the corporate world to venture into contract agriculture with land reform beneficiaries for the programme to be a success.

Cde Msipa said contract farming was one of the best ways of creating synergies between farmers and corporates.

"We have challenges of financing our operations because financial institutions don't have enough cash to give to farmers as loans," he said.

"I urge companies to close that gap by introducing schemes like contract farming to cement relations between farmers and these corporates who need agricultural produce.

"All these corporates should introduce these schemes so that they can be guaranteed of the produce because farmers will take their produce there. Most of the new farmers don't have capital except land and labour, so it would be good if corporates provided inputs."

Cde Msipa, who benefited from Dairiboard Zimbabwe loan scheme that saw him importing 25 bull heifers from South Africa, said farmers were willing to venture into contract farming.

He urged corporates to buy from contracted farmers at competitive prices.

Cde Msipa also called for benefication of agricultural products in areas where they are produced.

He said there was need for the Government to bring in investors who can beneficiate agricultural products like cotton in Gokwe so that communities in those areas can also benefit.

"I would want to see cotton being beneficiated in Gokwe from the see up to the final product.

"At the moment cotton farmers in Gokwe are not happy that ginners are not paying them competitive prices.

"It is possible to beneficiate cotton in areas like Gokwe. We can have one of the world's biggest textile companies in Gokwe if we bring in the right investors who want to beneficiate these products," said Cde Msipa.

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