'Poor planning impairs agriculture'

MUTARE - Poor planning and lack of market linkages are responsible for the huge post harvest loses local farmers routinely suffer, a senior government official has said.

Agritex director, Bernard Mache told the Daily News on the sidelines of a Multi-sectoral Community Based Approach Stunting (MCBAS) meeting that farmers needed to secure markets and monitor each other’s work to avoid flooding the market with the same produce.

“What we are saying to farmers is that before they grow any horticultural crop that is perishable, they should monitor the market.

“The other problem is that farmers are producing one commodity all at the same time flooding the market and suffering huge loses,” Mache said.

He said there is also need to strengthen value addition initiatives to help curb loses.

“Value addition and food processing will help and in fact we are hoping the private sector will also come in to help. It’s government policy that the private sector has a role to play.

“If you check you will see that Arda (Agricultural and Rural Development Authority) has a food processing company in Norton for value addition,” Mache said.

He, however, acknowledged that it was currently a difficult initiative unless the market is properly organised by both government and the private sector.

Meanwhile, Mache said the country has to wean itself from heavy reliance on donor aid if ever local communities are going to be self reliant.

“Once we involve the community it means the food and nutrition programmes we are encouraging will be sustainable.

“The communities are not going to wait for donations. This is killing them. They will be able to produce for themselves,” Mache said.

Comments (1)

One cannot expect small holding farmers to be smart enough to understand the market trends and plan their nest season's sowing. It is the collective responsibility of the Governments and private corporate sector.

COTTONGURU - 20 April 2017

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