Friday, November 27, 2009

(HERALD) Give farmers adequate training, State told

Give farmers adequate training, State told
Herald Reporters

Government has been urged to provide adequate training and extension services to farmers to ensure that they increase productivity on farms.

The call was made by Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union chief economist Mr Peter Gambara while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement on Monday.

"The Government should provide training facilities to farmers to increase production per unit area. Government should capacitate farmers so that they are able to produce on their own," he said.

Mr Gambara said many farmers were producing one tonne of maize per hectare instead of a potential 10 tonnes that could be achieved with proper farming methods.

He said the farmers should be adequately mechanised to improve production. The ZCFU chief economist said Government should repossess farms from farmers who were failing to use the land productively.

In its presentation to the Committee, the Commercial Farmers Union urged Government to look at the tariffs charged by parastatals such as Zinwa and Zesa, saying they were affecting farmers’ viability.

CFU said the operational challenges facing Sable Chemicals had negatively impacted on farmers since it was a major producer of fertilizer raw materials.

The Kwekwe-based company has buckled under the weight of high electricity tariffs, but the Government has since bailed it out.

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