LAND preparation is done, some have already planted, especially urban farmers, while elsewhere farmers eagerly await the onset of the rain season.
Large and small-scale farmers, communal producers and many in urban areas are raring to go.
Government has availed inputs through its various support programmes.
We should build upon the relatively successful 2022 season that saw production thriving, even in areas that have, in the past, been deemed unsuitable for cropping.
Granaries are not empty; we have no food crisis in the country and farmers can, this season, embark on agricultural activities on a commercial level.
With last season’s good harvest, we continue on the journey to self-sufficiency.
Food security is vital for many reasons and the most important one is that it will ensure food security and lessen the burden on the Government.
With food security, most of our problems will be solved; a thriving agricultural sector is a boon for the economy.
Food security means imports will be reduced, bringing down the import bill that had ballooned over the years.
It is important to note that every dollar that the nation can save is critical; it is money that will be deployed to other areas of desperate need.
Thus, we now appeal to the relevant authorities and other supporting entities to ensure that farmers get the necessary support to produce beyond subsistence level.
In the last farming season, some granaries were filled to capacity: Dzimwe hozi dzakafashukira nezvirimwa zvakasiyanasiyana/Ezinye iziphala bezigcwele kakhulu ngezilimo ezitshiyeneyo.
Now let the farmers produce commodities for trade.
Ours has traditionally been an agro-based economy.
The country’s agricultural sector, at its peak, not only provided 60 percent of industry’s raw materials but exported more products than any other industry.
As we work towards turning around the economy in a manner that is sustainable, all effort must be made to support the farmer for the agricultural sector is the foundation of the turnaround we all desire.
Farmer organisations and other stakeholders must speak with one voice and not duplicate roles.
Lucrative markets must begin to be sourced so that produce will transform the lives of our hardworking farmers who have, in recent years, been hard done on the market.
We must engage countries that have a huge appetite for agricultural commodities and markets in those nations must be understood by our farmers.
Farmers must adhere to international best practices so that their products fetch premium returns.
It is time that communal farmers start treating agriculture as a business.
The size of a field does not matter in farming, but quality of products.
And we should not cut corners in the production process.
World over, small pieces of land have made millionaires and, as a nation, we are blessed with vast tracts of fertile land that we must fully utilise.
Thus farmers must engage experts for advice, to test their soils and assist them to come up with crops best suited for their land.
Let us make the best of this farming season.