Bindura South Legislator, Honourable Remigio Matangira has urged farmers to embrace agro-forestry with a view to mitigating the negative effects of climate change.
Addressing small holder farmers at a meeting organised by the African Centre for Fertiliser Development (ACDF) and the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Frontline Institute in Burnside, Bindura during the weekend, Honourable Matangira said that fruit farming was a lucrative business where farmers could transform their lives with less effort.
“Let’s set aside land, just small pieces of land where we can plant fruit trees like oranges. Out of your six hectares, just one hectare is enough. From a hectare of orange trees for example, you can get up to 50 thousand tonnes which will give you a lot of money.
An official from ACDF said that his organisation would be moving around the district assisting farmers on how best to plant and take care of the fruit trees to maximise production.
“As ACDF, we want to work very closely with the small holder farmers so that they produce the best fruits which can be sellable even outside the country. We’ve begun door to door campaigns, sharing notes with them on good farming practices and encouraging ownership among the farmers so that they will get value from fruit trees and create a special economic zone that consumers can come and buy from,” he said.
The official further said that communities should enjoy the fruit business and seek assistance in areas they do not understand.
The launch is in line with the national tree planting initiative under Zimbabwe’s National Tree Planting Day which falls on the first Saturday of December and seeks to unlock economic value from trees.
The programme dubbed ‘Enhancing food security among small holder populations through fruit tree propagation’ will be implemented in other districts of Mashonaland Central province.