Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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New farmers to dominate the cane industry

New farmers to dominate the cane industry

After a decade of land redistribution the agricultural sector has witnessed all its sectors redefined according to the new rules as dictated by Agrarian reform with the sugar cane industry, once considered privy to the monopoly of the Hippo Valley sugar plantations, seeing the birth of a strong small scale farmer sector.

Strength of the small scale farmers has been born from the formation of the Zimbabwe Sugar Cane Development Association (ZSDA), currently under the chairmanship of Edmore Gochai Veterai, has become a strong competition to the traditional monopoly.

ZSDA is celebrating its second year of formation with ecstasy and jubilation rife in the Lowveld sugarcane plantations where the main gala is expected during the first quarter of the year.

Established in the March 2009 with 30 members with 250, which constitutes more than half of the sugar cane farmers in the area, the Association is poised to grow its membership to 520.

According to Veterai, ZSDA has achieved key deliverables for the farmers in Chiredzi such as the tractor ploughing 10 hectares per farmer for planting new cane.

“The tractor is equipped with rippers, discs ploughs and ridgers,” Veterai told The Business Diary.

Veterai said the Association is also working in collaboration with Tongaat Hullett to ensure that farmers get produce quality cane.

“We want to have steady growth with quality production. We want to maximize on the yield per hectare. The Association also wants to support communal farmers,” Veterai added.

Apart from growing cane ZSDA has crafted a comprehensive funeral policy for its members.

“We no longer have pauper funerals and now have high level funerals deserving for an A2 farmer,” boasted Veterai alluding the organisation has come up with a medical aid scheme for its members.

“We would want to have periodic health checks as we do not want to train farmers that will die tomorrow,” he said.

Further to this, ZSDA has a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy and will be donating solar panels to less privileged families in Chiredzi. Previously the Association has donated to orphanages and hospitals.

In a recent tour to the Lowveld by Business Diary, farmers expressed their delight with the Association and its leadership.


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