The current rains have eased their irrigation routines and costs for banana farmers in Chipinge’s Middle Sabi, amid increased tonnage this season.
2020/21 is a season with a difference for most farmers countrywide, include banana farmers whose irrigation routines and costs have since eased.
A Middle Sabi banana estate, Makata Bananas, has already projected an increased tonnage this season which entails a positive business outlook and benefits for the locals employed at the farm.
“Water is a bit expensive so the rains we have been receiving since November has significantly reduced the cost. We are projecting at least 50 tonnes per hectare from 40 we had last season,” said Salimo Kadoko, Makata Bananas Owner.
Banana plants need a lot of water and farmers are sometimes forced to irrigate them even during the rainy season.
Meanwhile, the banana estate and other agricultural activities in Middle Sabi are providing employment for youths.
“I used to be a field worker but I was selected to drive a tractor. Being from this area, I am proud of the opportunity to be in a male dominated field and being an inspirational figure to fellow women that we are capable of doing anything,” said a villager, Tsitsi Muronde.
Another villager, Tariro Mapinda, said, “This community is marred with child marriages issues and being young this opportunity has kept me occupied and away from such situations.”
Bananas are produced for both local and export markets and farmers in the area are being urged to embrace the lucrative business.