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Monday, May 27, 2024

Small holder farmers excel in peas farming

Story by Theophilus Chuma, Investigative Editor

SMALL holder farmers in Gweru are taking up the export opportunity created by the government to supply peas and other horticultural produce to the European market.

Peas farming has become a lucrative venture for small holder farmers who are supplying their produce to destinations such as Dubai, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The Second Republic is re-imagining horticulture farming and small holder farmers like Matilda Manhando are leading this revolution, producing over 40 tonnes of peas per season to supply the international market.

“I am a beneficiary of the land revolution which has created space for women to venture in. The open for business policy has made me and other farmers to come out of our shells and expand on our capacities. Over the last three years I have grown from eight tonnes to over 40 tonnes and I intend to expand to at least 100 tonnes,” noted Mrs Manhando.

The advent of the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra under the second Republic has tripled export earnings for farmers, some of whom are producing mangetout and sugar snap peas for export.

“We have managed to create a niche through production of these high-end products. The Open for Business mantra has really created space for us to unlock the vast opportunities in this sector and we are satisfied with how we have fared so far,” said Riverdale Farm Manager, Mr Tawanda Masamba.

While, Mrs Jane Mutatu added, “I think the best thing to happen is for the government to have come up with these empowerment initiatives which are driving women into the export space.”

The government through Zimtrade is running a programme dubbed Next She Exporter, targeting to close the gender gap through supporting women entrepreneurs.

For farmers like Ms Priscilla Masango, the realities of vision 2030 are within horizon.

“I am supporting the President’s 2030 vision and I am a product of that vision. The President has allowed us space and we are happy to run with that vision given all the support at our disposal,” she stated.

Over 500 small holder farmers are into horticultural production across the country and are riding high on the availability of an export market and investments on value addition infrastructure.

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