Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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ARAC Update 7

ARAC Update No.7

15 April 2011

Dear Farmer,

This week has seen a busy round of report backs by President Deon Theron and Vice President Charles Taffs after their recent trip to the UK. There they held numerous meetings and a considerable number of contacts with a variety of influential people have been made. We firmly believe that momentum has been gained in our ongoing efforts to bring about agricultural recovery and compensation. This unfortunately does not mean that farmers may now call in at our offices and collect a cheque! It does mean that pragmatic proposals for a way forward have been tabled with key stakeholders and essential channels for improved communication have been opened.

Many farmers have expressed an interest in the kind of opportunities that exist in the agricultural extension field; at the same time many development resource partners recognise the pool of currently unutilised experience that exists within our constituency. However, the transition from farmer to trainer is not straight forward and there are a number of key factors that need to be appreciated. We are fortunate that amongst our peers there are some who have been particularly successful in creating innovative ways of bridging this gap. The lessons learned and the specific methodology in Conservation Agriculture taught and practiced by Brian Oldrieve and his team are now internationally accepted and will certainly contribute significantly to food security in many parts of the world in the future; most particularly here in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

ARAC has now found support for a three day training workshop for an initial group of 20 farmers. Foundations for Farming will conduct the course, starting Wednesday 15th June until Friday 17th June. There will be a two day follow up later in the year. Interested farmers can discover how to use their practical farming skills in the broader development field, they will learn the specific people skills that are needed to work in cross cultural environments and the ways in which technology and management can be adapted to meet particular environments and crops. Please register with our office if you are interested.

Some of you may be aware that in our efforts to provide both service and extend benefits to a broad section of the community, we have launched a Discounters Club. There are now over 350 businesses registered on our list of participating service The web site can be viewed on providers and suppliers.

Alternatively email [email protected]. Membership can be arranged through our office and costs $60.00 per year. A number of cardholders have already reported significant savings; indeed some of you overseas who are providing support to family here may find this a useful way of assistance.

ARAC will be holding their AGM on 11th May at 2.30pm in conjunction with the usual monthly farmers meeting. Amongst other routine business and topics to be covered will be an outline of the planned Valcon peer review scheme for the valuation of farms on the data base. Two specific aspects that will add qualitative information to the existing work will focus on simple mechanisms to ensure differing development and varying quality of individual farms are reflected fairly across the board. This is an exercise that will require considerable input from our members. We look forward to seeing many new and old faces as we report back end renew our structures.

This time of year sees two significant events on our calendar, Independence and Easter.

I believe our country truly looks with hope to the blessings of an all embracing Easter where we remember the triumph of life over death, of hope over despair, of love over hate. We live in joyful expectation and confidence of these realities in our lives wherever we are.

Best regards, Ben Gilpin


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