Small scale farmers have been challenged to continue improving their yields in order to match those of well-established producers.

The country’s agricultural sector has been seriously affected by climate change, and farmers have been challenged to fully utilise land and water resources for the revival of the sector which remains critical in the realisation of vision 2030.

Retired soldier Cde Foster Gono

Addressing at a field day hosted by Captain Foster Gono at Hippo Valley Estates, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Cde Vangelis Haritatos said for the country to retain its breadbasket status, it is critical to enhance agricultural production in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

“Here in the low-veld, small scale sugarcane farmers hold sizeable pieces of land in aggregate. Land is a finite resource which should be put to maximum use.

“At the same time water will increasingly become scarce as climate change sets in. It is therefore critical for the small scale sugarcane farmers to aggressively make the most of the land and the water resources available to them,” said Cde Haritatos

The Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Victor Matemadanda said the war veterans are committed to work for the revival of country’s economy.

“Today we are celebrating a success story of a war veteran who benefitted land through the land reform programme. This shows that if war veterans are capacitated, they have the potential to produce more for the country as this is what they fought for,” Cde Matemadanda said.

Captain Gono was allocated 26 hectares of land under the Land Reform Programme in 2007 and has registered remarkable achievements at his farm where he produces an average of 114 tonnes per hectare as compared to 50 tonnes produced by other average farmers.