Office of Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West
Communal farmers have been advised to team up to bypass middlemen and conduct market research to grow their farming business, the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Association of Agricultural Exhibition Societies said last weekend, Mr. Godfrey Mavankeni.
He was speaking at the 110th edition of the Kadoma Agricultural Show which took place from Thursday to yesterday under the theme: “Enable the Kadoma Agricultural Show to become a center of business, thanks to the reconstruction of infrastructures, transparency and good governance of cooperation”.
Mr. Mavankeni challenged farmers to consider growing horticultural crops that have a ready market in the UAE.
“Communal farmers should also invest in market research to improve their agriculture,” he said. “Often than not, most farmers plant crops before engaging in proper market research, which has significantly affected their business.
“Farmers need to conduct market research, trend analysis and even price monitoring. Understand what to grow, when to grow it and for whom to grow it.
“Farmers usually end up losing out to intermediaries. If farmers could come together, reintroduce the concept of the farmers market where they coordinate and manage their own marketing and even adopt planned delivery and packaging and in turn eliminate the role of middlemen.
Mr. Mavankeni challenged stakeholders to disseminate information to farmers on sustainable and profitable farming methods.
He commended the Kadoma Show Society for organizing an event that complemented the government’s efforts to achieve the goals set out in the national development strategy.
Mr. Mavankeni thanked the government for providing programs such as Pfumvudza/Intwasa, which have helped rural and urban farmers increase their yields.
“Pfumvudza has provided food security at household and national level and this has provided much needed assistance to our farmers,” he said, adding that Zimbabwe was on its way to becoming the regional breadbasket again.
Kadoma Show Society President Mr. Chrispen Dirao said that despite challenges including volatile economic trends and wrangling from a rival group that wanted to derail its plans to host the show, at least 20 companies and government institutions exhibited at this year’s event.
Mr. Dirao said that in the future, they plan to upgrade the exhibition grounds and invite stakeholders to seize the investment opportunity.
“Stakeholders who have the potential to build modern infrastructure that meets city standards are invited on condition to build and operate,” he said.
The big winner of the competition, Ms. Mushaninga from the Mhondoro-Ngezi district, left with a farmer. She encouraged women to participate in agriculture to ensure Zimbabwe’s food security.
Jah Prayzah’s own version, Bromly, of 14-year-old Herman and Kadoma provided entertainment.