Sunday, October 1, 2023

GZU gears up rural industrialisation

Andrew Zhou

Masvingo – The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) through its Gary Magadzire School of Agriculture & Engineering Department under the Innovation Centre of Excellency in Dry Land Agriculture has geared up its rural industrialisation niche after launching the traditional grains contract farming programme in Chibgwedziva, Chiredzi Rural District ward 8 on August 3 2023.
The programme will benefit villagers in Chiredzi, Gutu and Mwenezi Districts as well as Masvingo province at large. Under the programme, farmers will receive traditional small grain inputs and will have access to markets after harvesting their crops.
Officially speaking during the launch of the programme, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, Innovation and Technology Development Professor Amon Murwira said GZU’s initiative will improve livelihoods of rural communities by bringing markets at small grain farmers’ door steps.
“This initiative will promote rural industrialisation where the fore runners of the programme that is GZU will bring you free farming inputs as well as markets for your produce” said Professor Murwira.
He commended the GZU for implementing education 5.0 by coming up with such a developmental programme and thanked Chibgwedziva community for accepting productivity programme without hesitation.
Speaking at the same event the GZU Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Jonas Zvobgo said the programme will ensure food security as it focuses on traditional small grains which produce high yield in the Lowveld especially Chiredzi South.
“The traditional grains contract farming programme will bring economic development in rural areas through farming and will ensure food security which contribute to the attained of vision 2030,” said Professor Zvogbo said.
He went on to say the programme will also provide rural farmers with chicks for poultry production which they will sell to GZU.
“We are going to give you chicks also for poultry production and we will buy and slaughter them in our abattoir”
Speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries Water and Rural Development Dr John Bhasera, AGRITEX Deputy Director responsible for crops in the ministry Kundai Makuku said the ministry had already done the summer plan for the 2023/2024 planting season with a target of 350 000 metric tonnes for sorghum and 200 000 for pale millet across the country.
“We have already done our summer planting plan which was approved by the government and we target high production of 350 000 metric tonnes for sorghum and 200 000 for pale millet across the country,” Makuku said.
She encouraged farmers in Masvingo province to embrace the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme as it enabled them to produce high yields in the coming farming season.
Villagers who has already benefited from the recently launched the traditional grains contract farming programme applauded the Great Zimbabwe university for coming up with such a great productivity programme in their community.
“I want to thank GZU and Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education for coming up with the programme here in our community, we have already sold our recently harvested crops to GZU,” said a villager only identified as Kanganisai.

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