Gokwe farmers, who seem to be obsessed with growing maize and cotton have been urged to shift their focus to Sesame (Runinga) farming, as climate continues to change.
By Edward Makuzva
Addressing Farmers at a workshop organized by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development ( ZIMCODD) , Gokwe Extension Worker Tendai Masora said cotton farmers are at risk, buyers where buying cotton with 30c- 35c per kg.
Masora said few inputs where disbursed to farmers very late but the debt will be payable at a higher price.
The Extension worker added that smallholder farmers and women are the future of agricultural development in Southern Africa.
“Investing in smallholder agriculture can empower farmers to produce more food and develop local markets and supporting food security.
“Despite rapid urbanization, around three quarters of the sub- Saharan Africans still reside in the rural areas and rely on agriculture for their livelihoods”, Masora Explained.
She said the Sasame project started with 80 farmers and produced 15 tonnes of the product and they were not fully geared.
Masora said the price of the crop is pegged at 77c per kg as compared to cotton.
Sesame is a common small grain crop which can be harvested in all provinces of the country.
She said young farmers in Gokwe are facing challenges of shifting from cotton to other small grain crops as they are corrupted by cotton which left farmers in pain after paying debts and ended nothing after the whole year.
Meanwhile, the extension officer said the farmers are saying they should have another crop like Sasame or other small grain crops in order to reduce the poverty in the country.
The Sasame is used for baking Scones, bread, peanut butter and cooking oil.