Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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EMA takes bee-keeping as firefighting measure

EMA takes bee-keeping as firefighting measure



Runesu Gwidi, Harare Bureau
Community leaders in Gutu district have hailed the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for embarking on bee-keeping projects in resettlement farms as a new strategy to prevent veld fires.

Addressing the 2018 quarterly full council meeting held at Gutu Rural District Council offices last week, Mr Martin Taderera, who is the district chairperson for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, said EMA had undertaken to sponsor bee-keeping (apiculture) for resettlement farmers in all the 39 wards of Gutu district.

The move by council and EMA follows a trail of destruction by veld fires of huge tracts of grazing land at some resettlement farms in Gutu over the years.

Gutu RDC and EMA have since realised that normally people offer protection to a thing from which they would most likely benefit.

“The farmers would not let veld fires destroy their beehives,” said Clr Taderera. “They would obviously make concerted effort to protect them so that they generate capital from sale of honey in future. By so doing, they would be indirectly protecting grass and trees from veld fires.”

Clr Taderera said community leaders in district had since applauded the apicultural veld fire management strategy, which he claimed had proved successful in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are working together with EMA to embrace the new strategy to combat veld fires that have become rampant in our resettlement areas,” he said.

“So far, EMA has started the bee-keeping projects in Ward 1. The projects are strongly viewed by both council and EMA as both income generating and natural resource preservation measure.”

The meeting was attended by representatives from EMA, Forestry Commission, traditional leaders, councillors, council staff and several other stakeholders.

Participants resolved that council, EMA and Forestry Commission would convene workshops for farmers on bee-keeping as both a business and a new veld fire outbreak management strategy.

Resettled farmers were also urged to construct fire guards at their farmers and areas with their bee-hives. It was also noted that resettlement farms between Chivhu and Gutu had occasional veld fire outbreaks.


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