Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Research solutions helpful to domestic farmers

Research solutions helpful to domestic farmers


Tapuwa Mashangwa
THE challenges faced by the Zimbabwe farmer have not changed much over the past five years. Not only are these challenges due to the economic environment and restrictions but they are also challenges the domestic farmer refuses or is lackadaisical to address. In reality, most people go on their knees to pray for answers and solutions to their problems when the solution is right in front of their eyes. God has already answered them.

Emerald Agribusiness Consultancy does various workshops for crop and animal production and as part of our effort to comprehend agricultural performance in Zimbabwe we also conduct statistical analysis to understand the performance of our agricultural sector.

Despite some of the efforts the Government and financial institutions place in trying to improve our agricultural sector there are psychological status quos that must be addressed. The first being that the domestic farmer needs to comprehend that for one to make money, they must also spend money. Sincerely, there are very few farmers with registered companies. How then does one evaluate profitability and come up with new strategies for growth?

Today, in this day and age, with information available over the internet and through various specialist and experienced companies, the average domestic farmer still considers these facilities to be expensive and not applicable to them. The power of knowledge is an abstract idea that seems to be sadly out of reach, yet it is the key answer to just about all their agricultural challenges.

In developing countries the government spends a lot of time and capital in research. They have understood the value of research information and centres.

Top countries that finance research include the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, South Africa etc.

These countries even go as far as importing the “brains” of foreign talent and providing them with residency documents to facilitate and grow their industry. It is not only the governments of these countries that go about this process; it is also the companies within these countries that have understood the value of talent and research. On an international level one wonders where we rank in terms of research capacity, investment and posterior application of research solutions.

Not only is this challenge national. It is continental. There are very few African countries that take time and capital to formulate and comply with research policies. Most times the money gets diverted and misused or the research facility dies away into the still of the night! Research leads to solutions to problems. Solutions to problems steer improvement of living conditions and standards. Solutions promote the growth and efficient and effective performance and management of the economy. This in turn permits the international competitiveness of the country’s products and services at an international playing field.

Just about two months ago I came across an article by Willie Vogt,;<>. John Deere acquired Blue River, a Sunnyvale, Calif, firm that made a See and Spray System <>.

“Essentially, the Blue River See and Spray system, is an automated computerised system that can identify weeds in a growing crop, and it does more than just see weeds out of the row. The system can distinguish the weed in the row as well. The system will allow producers to cut herbicide use dramatically – to as little as 5 to 6 percent of what is used today on a spray pass.” The system permits the weed to be accurately sprayed by a herbicide. The article is dated 6 September 2017, half a year ago. We can only imagine how far they are now. Zimbabwe, a country that God has so richly blessed with just about what any other country desires stills lags behind. We have a vast array of mineral resources, a wide variety of tourist attractions and activities and so much rich and fertile idle land and like that is not enough, we have an educated system to work and grow these economic sectors.

We can catch up with the rest of the world if the right policies and funding facilities are provided to setup and assist grow our agricultural industry. As the famous Chinese proverb states, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.

The writer is Eng Tapuwa Justice Mashangwa, Group CEO for Emerald International Consortium and CEO Emerald Agribusiness Consultancy. He can be contacted on +263 771 641 714 and email: [email protected]


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