‘Poor planning impairs agriculture’

By | April 20, 2017

Source: ‘Poor planning impairs agriculture’ – DailyNews Live

Bernard Chiketo      19 April 2017

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.

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