BY STEVE EPHRAEM
A call for farmers in dry hot regions to be involved in sustainable agriculture. The came out at Best Farmer field day which was held on March 16, 2023 in Chipinge.
Facilitated by Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), the event was held at Mbuya Moyana’s homestead in Konjana village near Checheche.
The objectives of the field day included promoting farmers’ greater involvement in sustainable agriculture, empowering youth and women in agroecology, peasants benefiting from organic farming and climate justice.
Host farmer, Queen Muzeti (Mrs Moyana) indicated that small grains are bringing higher yields.
“I have learnt that growing small grains is beneficial. Maize is always failing in our hot dry region but sorghum does better. We grew open pollinated varieties that we obtain from fellow farmers. I encourage young women to come and acquire this seed from our members,” she said.
ZIMSOFF field officer, Pascal Mlambo encouraged farmers to grow a diversity of crops.
“Even if we harvest water and use water conservation methods to help crops to grow well, farmers should grow a diversity of crops so that when one crop fails due to climate challenges, the other one will do well. Also, livestock should be utilised to provide organic manure,” said Mlambo.
ZIMSOFF National Treasurer, Sibongile Mucheche discouraged farmers from using pesticides.
“Due to climate change, we encourage farmers to grow small grains such as sunflowers which do not have much demand especially on pest control. We promote biological control of pests. Small grains usually fetch good money on the market. Huge returns help prevent issues of Gender Based Violence in the home,” she said.
Checheche based St Peter’s Primary School scored a first by becoming a learning institution that endeavours to promote the concept of agroecology by becoming a member of ZIMSOFF.