Senior Agriculture Reporter
A high-proportion of households received agricultural advisory services last season across all provinces mainly due to the provision of motorcycles to extension officers, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) report has established.
The Agritex latest weekly update has also revealed that more than 3 170 extension officers under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement have received motorcycles.
President Mnangagwa last year mobilised 5 000 motorcycles as part of Government’s efforts to capacitate and upgrade agricultural extension workers to enable them to carry out their work more effectively.
“To date a total of 3 170 motorcycles have been availed to the ministry. Of these, 2 447 have been allocated to the Department of Agritex. A total of 2 298 have been moved to provinces and distributed.
“To date, the department has received and distributed a total of 4 500 tablets,” said Agritex.
The ZimVac report states that nationally, 81 percent of households received agricultural extension visits.
“Generally, the proportion of households which received cropping advice from extension officers remained high across all provinces.
“In Matabeleland North, Midlands and Mashonaland Central, there was a notable increase in the proportion of households which received agricultural extension services support over the past three years.
“This might be attributed to the provision of motorcycles to agriculture extension officers for delivery of community services,” read the report.
The proportion of households which received livestock advice was 62 percent, a slight increase from 57 percent in 2020.
Agritex officers have been capacitated by way of provision of adequate resources to give them the commitment and the strength to do their work and motorbikes to ensure they are mobile.
Motorbikes were given to Agritex officers mainly involved in livestock production and crop farming.
The implementation of the Land Reform Programme in the year 2000, resulted in an increase in the number of farmers who desperately needed support of extension staff.
The Department of Agritex has 4 790 agricultural extension workers and 505 extension supervisors, and the veterinary extension staff establishment is 1 563.