zim maize22.jpgThe Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) has urged farmers engaged in the production of tobacco and cotton to register with the Agriculture Marketing Authority (AMA) for the 2010-11 summer cropping season to enable policy makers to plan properly.

 

Registration of farmers in the two sectors is already in progress as mandated by AMA, which was revived last year to promote fairness in marketing of agricultural produce and support contract farming of strategic crops.

 

The various farmers organisations in the country are also facilitating registration with AMA to ensure that accurate statistics are obtained for planning purposes and budgeting finances required for crop purchases.

 

ZFU Executive Director, Mr. Paul Zakariya said the registration of tobacco and cotton is a crucial process as the two are strategic crops critical to the agricultural sector and the economy.

 

He noted that last year the tobacco industry had to revise targets as many farmers had planted tobacco without registering.

 

“We need to know the farmers’ needs, their capacity and the challenges affecting them. So we are basically lobbying all tobacco and cotton farmers to register. For cotton there is a statutory instrument,” said Mr.Zakariya.

 

Resource constraints and unscrupulous middlemen have in recent years posed a challenge on the profitability of farmers.

 

Analysts believe local farmers will earn more profit by improving their management skills and attaining more commercial levels of production.