Zimbabwe: New Farmer Calls for Self-Reliance

10 January 2022

A Hwedza farmer has advised fellow farmers not to over-rely on Government inputs and instead take farming as a business.

In business, he says, one must invest and not rely on freebies.

The Government, he believes, has been overburdened and while farming is critical to national food security, farmers must thrive to be self-reliant and progressive.

In an interview, A-1 farmer and village head, Organ Hungwe Nengomashe said:

"I urge all farmers, mostly commercial farmers to start conserving and utilising their harvests to finance their next season because Government has many things to finance.

"Imagine, our Government is bravely making sure agriculture is financed besides the country being under illegal economic sanctions. Farmers must wisely utilise these Government inputs as a way to historically cross the poverty ocean for all future generations.

"Farmers must remember that Government also has headaches in financing our health, roads, salaries and even national security sectors, so let us not waste resources from Government, ngatizvipundutseyi, tizvirumure from Government so that we also start financing our relatives and friends into farming.

"So let us quickly wean ourselves from Governmental agriculture aid," he said.

He affirmed his advice by giving himself as a good example of a self-dependent small-scale farmer who was helped by a Good Samaritan and is now a pacesetter in Hwedza.

"Last year, an Agriculture Field Day was held here at my home because I was the best, but I do not receive any help from the Government.

"Worse I am an A1 farmer, meaning an A1 farm is almost a rural setup village farmer, we are different from those big commercial A-2 farmers, who get Government inputs.

"In 2019, Madzibaba Simba from Chitungwiza jump-started me with once off seed, fertiliser and three goats. I harvested 13 tonnes of maize. Today, I have 33 goats and from then, I am just using my yearly harvest to timeously acquire my next season's inputs and finances.

"We sell our goats and am targeting to buy a family tractor soon.

"This season I have already utilised my whole six hectares because I do not wait for Government inputs, but project my future pegged on my own granary or yield," he said.

"Our family manpower is from other farms like Skola, Imire, Iyamba and Mhembwe farms because they are also desperate for our maize, as we are also desperate for their labour, so we do not need much cash for labour.

"Our manpower is for land preparation, seed planting, weeding and harvesting periods.

"Our roadrunners and goats are for our personal and labour relish because, we hire 20 to 30 persons per day.

"Livestock is not easy if you do not budget for their treatment and feeds, for example we use chemical and different traditional herbs for our livestock," he said.

"My family is thanking our legislator David Musabayana for his advice on harvesting, profit management and encouragement.

"Surely for me to be whom I am today, proudly owning 33 goats, nine cattle, having one wife Kundai Mukandi, my three children, two boys and a girl, our outstandingly most colourful home here with two toilets, one for the family and one for the staff with a flushing system, is because of him.

"Even our well-furnished kitchen, fowl runs, goats and cattle infrastructures, ploughs, our painted 5-roomed house, cultivators, drying and stocking granaries, my running 6ha, it was because of our leader and mentor MP Musabayana here in Hwedza North Constituency."

He said many vulnerable people had benefited from the legislator's philanthropic work.

"We have learned from our legislator that we should all care for all or any orphans, widows, aged or physically-challenged persons of any age, including those with underlying health challenges in any community, in town or wherever, because God provides more than enough to those who pass on His blessings.

"Let us not abuse any child during and beyond any farming season, like letting kids caring for livestock or fields in bushes or worse during raining hours, it is a criminal offence, all those who witness this must report to the police, traditional leaderships or any elders, let us stop child abuse, stop any human abuse nationally.

"God chose us to be alive at this minute so that we care for these vulnerable souls, not that we are wiser, but we are just God chosen to stay behind for His Godly duties, so be careful," said Mr Nengomasha.

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