Paul Pindani recently in Makonde
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka says the quest for food security is Government’s chief priority.
Mliswa said this at the Mashonaland West Winter Wheat Progress Review Field day that was held at Reinfield Farm here.
“The quest for food security is government’s chief priority, this was the agenda of the late Chief Air Marshall Hon Perrance Shiri our former Minister of Agriculture and you and I must be compelled to honour the legacy of this fine son of the soil by ensuring that all farms become productive , thus making us a food secure nation.
“I am informed that the winter wheat season is ongoing and a total of 14810ha has been established in the province,” said Mliswa.
She said that of the total area planted, the CBZ/Agro yield programme contributed 12642ha which is about 85 percent of total area planted, with the remaining 15 percent being non command wheat.
“Here in Makonde district, 4261ha has been contracted for command and a total of 3489ha is the actual land with plant under command and 721ha has been planted using private funds.
“It is positive to note that the wheat has been established this season is 36 percent more than what was established in the previous season.,” said Mliswa.
“Last year we had a total of about 9300ha against the 14 810ha planted this year.
“This shows an increase of 36 percent from last year season. The bulk of the crop is at grain filling stage booting stage and is in good condition,” she said.
The owner of Reinfield Farm, Farai Chirinda, said that he was quite humbled and happy for the visit by the minister and other stakeholders in witnessing their journey in the production of wheat, which contributes towards the food security of the nation.
” Honorable minister, this place was originally owned by my late parents, Nickson and Maria Chirinda. May their souls in peace.
” I have since taken over in the running of this family operations, where we are undertaking raw cropping and livestock production,” said Chirinda.
“It is not something that can happen overnight for you to be able to see this crop that you see on the ground at the moment.
” I have been involved in farming for the past 10 years with my parents whilst I was at school.”
Chirinda said that when they started farming, each and every year was a challenging one.
“During that period, I was in the banking sector.
I was there for the past 11 years . Then I finally decided to take a new challenge in farming which has always been my passion,” said Chirinda.
“I started doing full time farming in September last year, after having realized that the pressure was a bit too much in balancing both banking and farming.
“But to this date, I find no regret in the decision I took,”
He said that Covid-19 also contributed in him realizing that agriculture is an essential part of the economy.
“We all need to feed. All having been under lockdown, we have been feeding and eating.
” As a result, it’s something that is crucial. We need to take agriculture seriously and to also revive the breadbasket status of our nation,” said Chirinda.
He said that he had undertaken a 200 ha project of winter wheat, which he hoped they will be able to get a good yield, considering that this year , they had an uninterrupting supply of electricity.
Other technical partners which included members from seed houses, fertilizer houses, financers, and Zinwa among others attended the field day.