The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Farming Reporter
ZIMBABWE Agricultural Society (ZAS) will next month deliver a tractor and farming implements to a Tsholotsho couple in Matabeleland North Province who came up tops in the Agri-produce section at the country’s premier agricultural exhibition, the Harare Agricultural Show last year.
Harare Agricultural Show Agric-produce section chairman Mr Ivan Craig said the tentative date for the handover ceremony of the prizes to Mr Elvis and Mrs Simangaliphi Ncube has been set for 22 February with the guest of honour likely to be Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Retired Chief Air Marshal Perrance Shiri.
The Ncubes are from Khulumausenza Village in Mapulubusi area.
“We are here to kick start preparations for a handover ceremony of a 65 horse power tractor and a number of farming implements, which the farmer won. We are also contemplating sinking a borehole for the farmer because we realised that some of her neighbours are into market gardening and seem to be doing well in horticultural production,” said Mr Craig.
For coming out first in the Agric-produce section, the Ncubes who were being represented by Mrs Ncube at the show won a tractor with a mounted boom sprayer, which was sponsored by Agricon Equipment Zimbabwe, pick, wheel barrow, a hoe and a shovel.
Mr Craig said in winning the award, the Ncubes managed to convince the two judges as they met virtually all the requirements needed for one to take the top gong.
“Everything needed in our judging list was there except for a garden but we couldn’t penalise her for that because there was no source of water nearby but she ensured that she maximised the bush around her home through embarking on a bee keeping project, which on its own is environmentally friendly concept and farming, we considered that as well. Going to record keeping, it was superb as her farming records go back as far as the 80s,” he said.
Mr Craig said the feat by the Ncubes was a testimony that farmers in dry areas can also attain a good crop yield upon embracing proper farming management practices further stating that their achievement was going to inspire other farmers.
“I’m also happy that a farmer from Matabeleland region won the award because most people always have this perception that this is a dry area and nothing comes out from it and this has proven to be an unfounded assumption.
Above all, her feat is one to marvel at because she managed to surpass farmers from high potential areas and it actually gives impetus to other farmers to further improve their agricultural production. The fact that a farmer from a dry area can come out tops, surely changes the mentality of all farmers and Zimbabwe can as well be on the road of becoming the breadbasket of Southern Africa again,” he said.