Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Women should be acknowledged for their major role in farming and household and national food security, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made has said.
Dr Made said 70 percent of farmers in Africa were women.
In a speech read on his behalf by Secretary for Agriculture Mr Ringson Chitsiko at a field day at the Charamba homestead in Buhera on Tuesday, Dr Made praised Ms Rosy Charamba for excelling in farming.
Ms Charamba of Mbire Village had the best maize harvest in the district with 15 tonnes from three hectares of land.
“Women are the backbone of agriculture in Zimbabwe and Africa but they have not always been the heroes of the whole story of our agriculture. That situation must change so women farmers’ place is not only recognised but celebrated,” Dr Made said.
He urged farmers to work hard and closely with Agritex officers.
Buhera West National Assembly representative Cde Oliver Mandipaka (Zanu-PF) applauded Ms Charamba, saying contributions from people like her were crucial to the success of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation, which emphasises food security and nutrition.
“We want to ensure peace in the country and it will only be attained if people are well-fed. We want to work hard and fill the Grain Marketing Board silos. In so doing we will reduce violence,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba — brother to field day hostess Ms Charamba — urged farmers to take advantage of his poultry project as a ready market.
He produces 48 000 birds per cycle which need much grain for feed.
“I am willing to pay farmers the Grain Marketing Board rates.
“Here is a ready market for you,” he said.
Mr Charamba dissuaded farmers from stream-bank cultivation.
“Farmers cannot access water for irrigation because of the geographical structure of the area.
“It is difficult to drill boreholes because of the rock underneath. We would like to work with Cde Mandipaka to buy tanks and install pipes to assist farmers with water.”
The water project will also benefit Chikuvire School in the area.
Ms Charamba said she had the best crop because she planted early and applied adequate fertilisers.
“For weeding we used herbicides and they are more efficient than the conventional method.
“We also used urea for top-dressing and we applied it at four and eight weeks,” she said.
She planted Seed Co variety SC533.
Ms Charamba also grows cowpeas, sugarbeans, groundnuts and sweet potatoes among other crops.