ZFCU urges farmers to work with authorities to reduce post-harvest losses

Tapiwa Mufukwa |  7 months ago | local

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZFCU) has urged farmers to be cautious and work

with authorities to avoid losses after harvesting so that they can benefit from the agricultural

sector while also maintaining the country's food reserves.

In an interview with Capitalk 100.4 FM, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’

Union Dr. Shadreck Makombe said farmers should acquire driers to preserve their grain and

store it properly and that they should use hybrid seeds that have been tried and tested by

professionals and are not easily affected in the field.

Dr. Makombe said farmers should also adopt traditional methods to preserve produce in order

to reduce costs.

Clever Mandizvidza, Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Young Farmers Club of

Zimbabwe said the agricultural value chain is critical and should be set up in such a way that

yields are protected.

He believes that storage facilities should be expanded so that farmers may store more grain,

which will last longer and contribute to the country's food reserve.

He also said farmers lack knowledge of storage procedures and must be taught enough to be

able to preserve their agricultural produce.

Senior technical agronomist at Agricura, Onias Mlambo, said farmers should choose seeds that

stays longer after harvesting to avoid losses, and that they should properly prepare their

storage facilities and granaries.

He added that farmers should conduct post-harvesting processing and value addition on their

products because it is more profitable than selling raw produce. 

Mlambo urged farmers to band together and contact various processors around the country so

that their agricultural products may be given more value and that they can make more money

from their farming operations.

Due to poor rains during the previous agricultural season, the agricultural sector's ability to

work at its best was affected, as farmers' harvests are expected to be low despite the rising

national demand. As a result, farmers must begin harvesting and minimizing crop storage

losses. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food production would

need to grow by 70% to feed the world's growing population, which is anticipated to reach 9

billion by 2050.