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Farmers’ disunity hinders agric production development policy

Local News
ZIMSOFF chairperson Nelson Mudzingwa

DISUNITY among farmers is affecting government’s efforts to come up with a policy that assists the development of agricultural production in the country, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadreck Makombe has said.

He said farmers across Zimbabwe were facing a growing challenge as a result of the proliferation of numerous farming organisations, leading to a lack of unity and cohesion within the sector.

Makombe said disunity was also proving to be a major impediment to progress with authorities taking advantage of the divided sector, adding that farmers needed to come together and present a unified front.

“I would say smallholder farmers are being left out by the government. The problem is between and among us as farmers. You would find there are lots of these organisations which are just mushrooming here and there, and as a result, that disunity is the one which is causing most of our problems,” he said.

“As long as farmers are not united, it means even a policy cannot come to fruition and even those whom we are meant to hold responsible or accountable, they will also take advantage of that disunity. So the best thing is for farmers to have unity in diversity so that they can talk with one voice.”

The Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) convened a meeting with parliamentarians recently and expressed concern over government’s failure to engage them.

ZIMSOFF chairperson Nelson Mudzingwa said farmers were not being afforded the chance to contribute to policymaking.

“When it comes to policymaking, we are not there. When the budget is allocated, we do not speak. It seems when the policies are put in place, they benefit commercial farmers who produce at a larger scale than smallholder farmers,” he said.

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