Cassava Smartech hosts Murehwa EcoFarmer Expo


MUREHWA – Cassava Smartech, the Econet group’s soon-to-be-listed division, yesterday successfully hosted a first-of-its-kind EcoFarmer expo at Murewa Centre, 90km northeast of the capital Harare.

The farmers’ expo, themed “Taking Farming to the Next Level” was attended by over 3 500 farmers, senior government officials, agriculture input suppliers, provincial and agriculture extension officers from around the country, non-governmental organisations and senior Econet and Cassava Smartech executives.

Speaking at the expo, the Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement minister Perrance Shiri commended Cassava Smartech for taking the lead in the use of technology to support the farming community and to boost agriculture output.

“My ministry recognises the potential of ICTs and innovation as powerful tools to transform agriculture in Zimbabwe,” the minister said, in remarks read on his behalf by the Provincial Crop and Livestock Production officer for Mashonaland East, Leonard Munamati.

Shiri said his ministry fully supported the transformation of agriculture “from being low-productivity, subsistence farming into a modernised, technology-driven agriculture that guarantees increased productivity, national food security and profitability for farmers”.

Speaking at the same event, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO Douglas Mboweni said Econet and the Cassava business were grateful for the company’s ability to innovate and invent solutions that solve people’s problems, as demonstrated by EcoFarmer.

“EcoFarmer connects you to a rich array of farming resources and information, and also provides access to experts in the field of agriculture,” Mboweni said, explaining the benefits EcoFarmer brings to small-holder and commercial farmers, including access to critical markets for farmers’ produce, and to agricultural service providers and input suppliers.

“On a daily basis, a farmer can now access markets for their goods and produce at very competitive prices, without being exploited by unscrupulous middlemen that take advantage of farmers’ lack of access to markets,” said Mboweni.

He thanked the thousands of farmers that attended the event, and some of whom exhibited crops and livestock at the Expo, commending them for their speed of adoption of new technologies to improve their yields and their lives.

He also expressed gratitude to the government and to policy makers for supporting Cassava’s initiatives to harness technology to boost agricultural output and help transform small holder farmers’ lives.

The deputy ITC and Courier Services minister, Jerifan Muswere, speaking at the same event, commented the Econet group for taking the lead in utilising ICTs to impact the economy in the area of farming and agriculture, reiterating that his ministry supported the use of information communication technologies to economically empower and transform lives.

The EcoFarmer service, which already boasts over 1 million registered farmers across the country, offers farmers a unique value bundle of services, that can be easily accessed via the mobile phone. The services including access to a trading platform, weather forecasts, and a transactional, ZimSwitch supported bank card, linked to a farmer’s EcoCash wallet.

Farmers on the EcoFarmer Club also enjoy discounted prices at approved, partner input suppliers across the country.

Comments (2)

EcoFarmer services and Command Agriculture: Is this duplication of services or do these facilities complement each other?

Ndiani Ndiani - 6 November 2018

Econet hayina agriculture , varoti zvavo.

Yuri - 10 November 2018

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