Top Agritex workers honoured Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Professor Obert Jiri (centre), poses for a picture with some of the winners during the ZimAgric Extension In-service award ceremony at Ngungunyana Building in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Edward Zvemisha.

Precious Manomano-Herald reporter

The top seven extension officers in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development yesterday received awards for being outstanding performers in an online in-service training examination.

The awards are designed to motivate them to continue working hard in their specialist areas, leading to high productivity levels in the agriculture sector.

Government is also seeking to increase the adoption of new technologies in agriculture.

Winners of the Zimbabwe Agriculture Extension in service training were Alnete Bhebhe of Umguza in Matabeleland North majoring in horticulture production, Nhlanhla Gumbo of Seke district in Mashonaland East in field crops, Juliet Machingura of Makonde in Mashonaland West in livestock production, Thabisani Dube of Marondera in Mashonaland East in land use and planning, Caroin Nhanga of Hurungwe in Mashonaland West in agricultural extension strategies and human resources management and Vitalis Chigwada of Nkayi Matabeleland North in veterinary technical courses

The overall best performing province by enrolment was Mashonaland East led by acting provincial director Agricultural and Rural Development Services Mr Leonard Munamati.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Professor Obert Jiri thanked the extension workers for working hard to transform the sector.

‘’We need to motivate our extension workers because they are doing so well,” he said. “All the record crops achieved are a result of their hard work. We have started giving our extension officers tablets so that inputs distribution can go ahead. 

“In terms of the online system we have already procured computers so that we start an integrated online system. Among other things, we are including agricultural tips where we are channelling out messages to our farmers every day.”

Mr Gumbo thanked the ministry for introducing technology that would open their minds, adding that it was beneficial since they were able to acquire new skills. 

“The programme is quite beneficial, especially to us extension workers,” he said. “We learnt new things and sometimes we are reminded of the things we have learnt in the past. It is a platform that will help us to improve our agricultural sector. We are grateful for this programme.” 

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