via Trouble as companies dump new farmers – New Zimbabwe 26/10/2015
POOR performance by new farmers has forced many private companies to dump the contract farming project, fearing to incur huge losses.
Many farmers in Makoni rely on contract farming for survival.
Goal project coordinator, James Machingura, said many new farmers are likely to face seed shortages as they cannot afford to buy on their own due to high costs.
He said there was need for government to assist new farmers with income generating projects so that they are able to procure inputs.
“Commercial farming has declined severely and there is need to empower farmers through income generating projects so that they will be able to procure inputs on their own,” said Machingura during a stakeholders meeting.
The meeting sought to come up with solutions to the problems of malnutrition and poverty in the district.
Machingura said Manicaland province has high rate of malnutrition, adding that low rainfall has also impacted negatively on production.
He encouraged farmers to grow drought resistant crops as a way to eradicate malnutrition which is widespread in Makoni district.
Zimbabwe is a low income, food deficit country, ranked at 156 out of 187 on 2014 UNDP Human Development index.
Currently, 72 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, surviving on less than $1, 25 a day.
Thirty percent of the rural folk are considered to be food poor or extremely poor.
Only 11 percent of Zimbabwean children (6-23 months) receive a minimum acceptable diet. One third are stunted or too short for their age.