Kuda Mashanda Primeseedco product development manager shows farmers which bean is best for the market | Picture by Tapiwa Makosa
Kuda Mashanda Primeseedco product development manager shows farmers which bean is best for the market | Picture by Tapiwa Makosa
By Tapiwa Makosa

Primeseedco three field days ended on Thursday as hundreds of Zimbabwean farmers came through to witness the varieties of high performing hybrid seeds.

There was an international flavor to the event as Primeseedco sales representatives  from Zambia, Kenya and Malawi were also present.  

Agriculture is key

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary  in the then ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development, Ringson Chitsiko rallied farmers to plan ahead as they have been given the responsibility to spearhead socio-economic development in the country. 

“You heard the President during his inaugural speech stressing that the economic development of this country is going to premised on agricultural production, which means that the entirety of the future, of the socio-economic development of this country has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the farmers,” said Chitsiko.

He emphasized that horticulture is one key component in achieving socio-economic development therefore farmers should work hard to restore horticulture to its rightful place.

“One of those very critical components of that [socio-economic] development is clearly horticulture. You will recall that horticulture, in the good days used to come second only to tobacco in respect to agricultural exports.

“We are here to begin to put our thoughts together and work towards returning this particular sector to its original second place position to tobacco, if not, actually going beyond tobacco to become number one agricultural exporting sector in Zimbabwe,” said Chitsiko.

HANDS ON! Primeseedco managing director, William Ranby engages farmers in a discussion on growing cabbages || Picture by Tapiwa Makosa
HANDS ON! Primeseedco managing director, William Ranby engages farmers in a discussion on growing brocolli || Picture by Tapiwa Makosa
What is a successful field day?

Willie Ranby, Primeseedco managing director was happy with the attendance of farmers despite threat of rain.

“Field days; you judge the success with the number of people who attend. If you have a field day and six people come: disaster. When you have a day like this were you have hundreds of people, its a success.

“Once you get the people into the field that’s the ultimate because they ask questions and seeing is believing,” he said.

Primeseedco group sales manager, Qa Khumalo, could not hide his excitement as he saluted the farmers who made it to the event.

“This is really the best trial site we have ever looked, we have sharpened the saw, we have the best varieties that we selected over the past two and a half years so we are fairly confident in how they work across the country and across the region.

“The farmers that have certainly braved it out over the last two days are farmers, real farmers, or people that have a real interest because its been threatening to rain and people are planting, so we are very humbled by the turn outs and the interactions,” said Khumalo.

Farmers feedback

Farmers who attended said they were satisfied with what they saw but also implored Primeseedco to help them reach markets. 

Women farmers from Mamina Irrigation Scheme in Mhondoro listen attentively to Primeseedco's Masimba Kanyepi explain how to grow butternuts || Picture by Tapiwa Makosa
Farmers from Mamina Irrigation Scheme in Mhondoro listen attentively to Primeseedco’s Masimba Kanyepi explain how to grow butternuts || Picture by Tapiwa Makosa

Tinashe Mutengwa, 20, from Norton, who grows tomatoes, onions and pepper  on a 1,5hectare plot together with his father said he had learnt a lot about time certain varieties of crops.

“I have learnt a lot especially on which variety of tomato to plant in winter or rainy season. I also learnt about which variety is best resistant to nematodes,” he said.

A young mother only identified as Mai Kupa from Domboshava said, “I have gained insight in production, but hopefully they [Primeseedco]  should help us to get get markets for our produce,” she said.

The main thrust of the field days was on hybrid varieties and their high performance compared to open pollinated varieties.

The farmers also witnessed that everything done on the farm is done by hand thus there is no need for fancy machinery or large pieces of land  to start  viable agricultural enterprises.

 

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