The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
FARMERS have been urged to adopt farmer centric, market oriented and sustainable agriculture technologies so as to improve their productivity as the cropping season starts.
In an interview on the sidelines of an agriculture technologies fair, Matopos Research Institute Agricultural Centre of Excellence (MACE) head Mr Tendai Matekenya said the fair was meant to harmony the three arms of research, education and extension for improved productivity.
“As we build this Agricultural Centre of Excellence (ACE) we are saying that as an institute people can come and get to see what’s happening in terms of the technologies being exhibited. We are harmonizing the three arms of research, education and extension through farmer centric, market oriented and sustainable agriculture technologies,” said Mr Matekenya.
He said that they were providing a platform of more stakeholders to come at the one stop shop to see the latest technologies being displayed so that they can implement in their areas and teach other farmers.
Mr Matekenya said: “The turnaround time of dispersing the technologies has also been shortened as there are people from the Northern and Southern parts of the country who are in extension, research and education, as well as lead farmers, who then can go back to their areas and impart the knowledge they acquired here to other farmers.”
He said that some of the technologies include different rain water harvesting strategies that will aid farmers as they prepare for the cropping season.
Mr Matekenya said farmers should seek assistance on which technique works best in their region such as ripper tines, ridges, mulching and compare these to different tillage systems or water conservation technologies.
He said if adopted well these methods could improve how they divert, induce, collect, store and conserve water from runoff.
Other technologies exhibited included infield water harvesting methods such as potholing, infiltration pits, basins for Pfumvudza or Intwasa.
Participants were also taken through drought tolerant seeds and smart foods, green technology such as solar powered drip irrigation and nutrition and feed lab services among others.
MACE is one of the six Agricultural Centres of Excellence (ACEs) that were established by the Government under the European Union-funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Services (ZAKIS) project.