BY AMOS BATISAYI
GOKWE farmers have urged government to repair dilapidated roads in the district to enable them to move their produce to Grain Marketing Board depots and Cotton Company of Zimbabwe buying points.
Roads in Gokwe, which are made of gravel have developed gullies due to years of neglect. Many bridges were washed away by rains, rendering some areas inaccessible.
However, the 2020-21 farming season was a good for most farmers, resulted in a bumper harvest.
Farmers told NewsDay that they were failing to transport their produce due to dilapidated roads.
“Trucks which used to carry our produce to the market, have since stopped to operate because the owners are complaining that the roads are bad. Their vehicles get destroyed. We end up using scotch carts to ferry our produce to depots,” farmer Wilfred Maruma from Kana said.
Some of the inaccessible areas include Jiri, Marapira, Marirangwe and Zhamba.
Another farmer, Sarah Matashu, from Gokwe Sesame, said they were resorting to selling their produce to brokers at low prices due to transport problems.
“Government should prioritise rehabilitating our road. Rural infrastructure is needed to transform communities as enablers for economic development” a farmer, Israel Chamurwa said.
Gokwe Mafungautsi constituency is the only area with a well-rehabilitated road network in the district.
During the weekend, Gokwe Kana MP Owen Ncube officiated at a ceremony in Gokwe South to commission road rehabilitation equipment where he admitted that roads in the district was very bad,
“Several roads in Gokwe have become inaccessible, especially during the rainy season. They have forced transporters to charge exorbitant fees to farmers, even for short distances,” Ncube said.
“With the Vision 2030 agenda, we are going to see a lot of improvement in our road infrastructure and social amenities,” he said.
Recently, Gokwe Rural District Council bought equipment worth $19,6 million devolution funds.
Some of the equipment that Ncube commissioned included a front-end loader, motorised grader and two tipper trucks.