COMMUNAL farmers should migrate from subsistence to commercial cropping to improve their financial status, a senior Agritex official said yesterday.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

Speaking to farmers at a field day at Tongwe Irrigation Scheme yesterday, Chenjemulene Madzivanyika said cash cropping enabled farmers to provide for their families.

“We have been doing subsistence farming for a long time, but we should move forward. Cash crops make us liquid and able to pay our children’s school fees,” she said.
Madzivanyika encouraged farmers to pay back loans from contractors keen to support communal farmers and shun side marketing.

At least 75 farmers at Tongwe, about 40 kilometres north-west of Beitbridge town, have put 26,4 hectares under sugar beans following a sound partnership with Seed Co.
Close to 200 farmers from Mwenezi and five of Beitbridge irrigation schemes attended the function, where farmers won different farming implements. Beitbridge district Agritex officer, Masauso Mawocha said his team provides free technical services to farmers.

“Do not listen to companies that want you to pay fees to get education on farming, we are here to provide it for free and farmers must not fail,” he said.

Seed Co has contracted farmers from most Beitbridge irrigation schemes after a successful initial programme at Shashi.

The field day, whose theme was High Value Crops and Contract Farming in Resilience Building, was organised by a consortium of non-governmental organisations promoting growth and resilience in farming.