By Gay Matambo
Government is working on various initiatives under the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, including dam construction to improve sugar production in the country. m nmn nmmm
The Second Republic is on an accelerated agricultural transformation drive to ensure food security and provide the necessary raw materials for local industries.
In his key note address at a graduation ceremony for sugar cane outgrower farmers and Agritex officers in Chiredzi this Friday, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Douglas Karoro revealed that government is implementing the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, including dam construction to improve production.
“It is certainly through these initiatives that food production and supply systems are strengthened to enhance self-sufficiency and minimise shocks, more so in these times of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the geo-politics of the Russian Ukraine war,” he said.
Director of the Zimbabwe Sugar Association Experiment Station, Dr Audrey Mabveni noted that the training programme seeks to improve viability of sugarcane production.
“Some farmers were participating in the courses and they were leaving out those courses they considered tough or difficult or not important. ZSAES started planning for a comprehensive course in sugarcane production with all modules compulsory and the first intake of the Farmers Certificate in Sugar Production was in January 2018. The second group was in 2019, the class which is graduating today,” he noted.
The graduates were enthusiastic about prospects of contributing to the growth of the local sugar industry.
“When we started sugar cane farming we did not know what to do. Instead we just followed what we were told by other farmers yet different methods have to be employed in different soils. But after this training we know what to do,” said one graduate.
“I quit teaching to do farming and I’m happy that I’m going to be able to work with other farmers who I have met here to boost production,” added another.
The training programme resonates with the objectives of the land reform programme through empowering aspiring farmers to enter into production of specialised crops.