Let farming be for farmers

MARONDERA - Can recent media reports on the brainwave from the new head of Zifa really be true?

Apparently newly re-elected Zifa president Cuthbert Dube is going to embark on farming projects in order to turn Zifa’s fortunes around.

Not being a football person, I never thought farming had anything at all do with football but then neither did I envisage earning $230 000 a month had anything to do with overseeing the provision of medical care to civil servants, pensioners and other hard-working Zimbabweans.

“Maybe some people will ask if I’m still alright in my head, but we are going to diversify into farming in a very big way,” Dube said when talking about his second term at the helm of Zifa.

Dube said sponsors were ‘‘sinking financially’’ which was why he had decided to reduce dependence on commercial funding for football and embark on farming instead.

“We have got the land reform programme,” Dube said, adding that he had already started talking to what he called the “responsible ministry” which he has apparently asked for several farms around the country.

Dube did not give any information as to what he knows about farming or what agricultural experience he has.

Is this really what Zimbabwe’s land reform programme was about?

Was it not to give land to the landless?

Dube was quoted by the BBC as saying: “We are going to do cattle ranching and crop farming, and there is no way you can fail."

If that is the case then why are we still having to import 80 percent of the food we eat 14 years after the land redistribution programme?

There’s nothing at all easy about farming which is why we are even importing $1 million worth of fruit and vegetables every month; why we are not even able to grow enough of our two staple grain crops, maize and wheat, to satisfy local demand?

If farming was such an easy way to make money why are we not churning out millionaires everyday?

Why are farmers continually begging for free inputs: seed, fertiliser, fuel, chemicals and tractors?

Dube’s statement: “We’ve got the land reform programme,” is at the core of why agriculture in Zimbabwe has been on the decline since 2000.

Farming is not a game for anyone to dabble in, it is a serious business requiring people who know what they’re doing.

People with resources, knowledge, experience and the ability to be on the land every single day.

We must question what Dube thinks he is going to get on these farms he has asked for?

Is he blind to the state of the country’s commercial farms? The fences are gone, infrastructure has collapsed immovable assets have been stripped; boreholes no longer function, pumps have gone and dams have broken walls.

There are countless questions that require answers from Dube: Who would run these farms for Zifa?

Where will the money come from to pay managers and farm workers?

Have they forgotten about their burgeoning debts?

Where will that money come from to buy the cattle; erect the fences that have been stolen; repair or replace cracked and leaking water reservoirs?

Then there is the issue of dip tanks, feed tins, facilities and equipment for vaccinating, dosing and treating livestock. 

In the case of the crops that Dube says cannot fail to make money they are still many considerations; tractors and ridgers; water pumps and irrigation systems; seed, fertiliser and chemicals.

Farming is for farmers; football is for football players.

Pay attention to football Zifa and let farmers pay attention to farming.

Comments (8)

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There is money in farming mr reporter. I have first hand experience with kurima. As long as you take it as a business not a picnic. Its so easy to make $100 000 in a farming season profit

mafikizolo - 9 April 2014

Cuthbert Dube needs to have his head examined. Farming is not an easy business as he thinks and running Zifa won't be easier this time since he no longer earns those hefty salary & allowances which he used to loan out to the warriors. ZBC,TelOne, Zesa,Army,ZRP and ZPS have tried farming but failed as it is not there core business plus it is for those with passion,love,skill and knowledge for it. Farming is a long term investment, hence needs patience. Even vaMugabe are not making money from farming at all, including that so called "biggest Dairy manufacturer" in Mazowe. There are key fundamentals to be followed in farming which are not easy to follow for Cellphone farmers. Land reforms is a political gimmick that has already failed as it has led Zim to be a serial food beggar. Am sure Dube is anticipating that the GoZ will go back to Gono's era at RBZ where inputs such as money, fuel and equipment were dished out for free to every "jack & Jill" who had been pushed & pulled to the farms.

Tawa Zaru - 9 April 2014

Good thinking Mr Dube. Farming is good. I am an example. Just two seasons that debt will be gone.

Gogodera - 9 April 2014

Cashberth have you done a survey and find out what has been happening on the farms since 2000? Why is it that we have turned to importing than exporting even our cash crops? You guys are never full time farmers and lack the knowledge and mental muscle to run a garden later on a farm. Tipei wo maserious or you thinking of getting money from the ministry since you are a lover of money

kt - 9 April 2014

Its a good idea.he will employ those with agric expertise thereby creating employment for more people and the proceeds going to football

chikoti - 10 April 2014

Farming is different from collecting medical subscriptions so it could be disastrous

protestor - 11 April 2014

Farming can be disastrous if we concentrate our focus on failures.we have seen very poor people being able able to sustain them selves and some at the top becoming filthy rich.depends on what examples we want to concentrate on. Cuthbert give it a try and of course see the progress.

vision - 11 April 2014

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