A1 farming joint ventures encouraged

By ZBC Reporter

GOVERNMENT is establishing a database of A1 farms ideal for joint ventures which will attract investment and ramp up production on underutilised land.

Virginia farm in Glendale which belongs to thirty five  A1 farmers has become a joint venture success story after it was nearly repossessed 2 years ago due to lack of productivity and huge debts.

Wishman Doro, who paid off the electricity debt and partnered the farmers, says full productivity has been restored, sentiments echoed by A1 farmer Elizabeth Ngwira.

“We are now producing 40 hectares of soya beans and 40 hectares of maize seed. When we got this centre pivot we were happy and now we can irrigate, we can farm all year round,” he said.

Two farmers have, however, backtracked on the agreement, threatening to derail production.

“These are the areas that you see that are lagging behind, because the centre pivot has been blocked with stones and thorns but we are saying those farmers can be reallocated to land where there is no irrigation, said an Ai Farmer Elizabeth Ngwira.

Lands, Agriculture Water Fisheries and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka, who toured Mazowe farms this Wednesday, said farmers allocated land with dams and good soils must efficiently utilise it or risk being reallocated.

“In terms of statutory instrument 38 this land must be made productive. Our emphasis is that the joint venture ought to be respected and those farmers have to follow the tenets of the joint venture. The ministry is at a very advanced stage of putting up a database of potential jv partners and also through our request to a1 and a2 farmers to submit annual productivity returns to be able to identify area were these joint venture partners could be consummated so that we can release the potential that Zimbabwe has agronomically,” said Masuka.

Minister Masuka urged A1 farmers with land ranging from 6 hectares to take farming as a business and also access funding from the Agriculture Finance Corporation.