By ZBC Reporter
THE government has stepped up efforts to boost production in the commercial agriculture sector through a training programme for the correct use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.
Cases of crops wilting due to inappropriate application of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides has for years been taken lightly, and there is a renewed drive to minimise human error and increase yields.
“The timing has been wrong because we don’t take things as a business at times and lining of nooses requires constant learning, it is only now that I realised I have been losing quite a lot, we have the equipment but we have been applying wrongly,” said one farmer.
To answer the call, the department of Agritex and government’s development partners have launched a countrywide training programme which started in Harare at the weekend.
“Timing is everything, putting the right quantities and machines. So we do these trainings as reminders and they will get used, it is a refresher and a reminder. Crop yield and quality will also go up and better financial return. Pests rob farmers of proceeds,” said Joe Mkandla an agronomist.
“We are having lots of trainings with farmers on the use of chemicals to ensure they are safe for people, environment and animals. This is done pre and post-harvest at various levels. They are the difference between developing and not having profit and failure,” said Rutendo Nhongonhema, chief agronomist with the Department Of Agritex.
The government is on a drive to boost agricultural productivity, with last season’s bumper harvest being a giant step towards ensuring food security in the country.