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Farmers need tractors, cattle have died

28 Jul 2021 at 19:16hrs | Views
My rather heavy footsteps did not jolt the old farmer out of his deep thought, head rested on his bony knees, sort of mind comatose. The man was 'lost' in great thinking, pondering how he would tackle the fast approaching farming season.

All his cattle, twelve strong herd succumbed to the ravaging 'January Disease' that has decimated livestock in Chiweshe, Mash. Central.

A nudge on the shoulder brought him around, arching his mouth to force a smile at my presence. We sat together face to face as if playing a game of chess, not sure of the next move.

The maize husks and dry stalks from the previous harvest still lie undisturbed in the fields, no cattle to consume them. No more scotchcarts on the roads because there are no oxen to pull them, it's now maize bags on heads and shoulders when going to the grinding mill. The old farmer pointed at his field, shaking his head he said, "Gore rino kurima kuchanetsa".

Not sure what to say I simply nodded in agreement. Indeed the Pfumvudza method of farming (holes in the ground) may bring us another bumper maize harvest but not the same with cotton, tobacco, soybean etc. The people need tractors and disc harrows to till the soils. May our pro-people government seriously consider assisting us with mechanised plowing this coming rain season.

Our hard working farmers are ready to give it all in turning around the economy, we need tractors. Tobacco seed beds are almost ready on the shores of Ruya Dam at Chinehasha and the fields have been cleared of old stalks from the last tobacco farming season. As long the world is smoking, we will continue increasing the hectarage.

On the other side of the same coin,  when will Chinehasha Irrigation Project start rolling? Pipes still piled up but nothing to point at, by now green peas, green mealies and potatoes could be finding their way to urban markets.

My 'Sahwira' plot remains a mere marking with herbaceous undergrowth and shrubbery quickly setting up a picturesque scenery. The great dam can change lives, make the Irrigation project a reality.

No farmers no future.

Thomas Tondo Murisa. Chinehasha.

Source - Thomas Tondo Murisa
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