Chiredzi farmer is making a living out of growing madhumbe, a high water consuming crop despite the area’s high temperatures and low rainfall patterns.

Madhumbe (yams)

After seeing an opportunity, young farmer Edmore Chigayo of
Makondo area in Chiredzi decided to defy the odds and try his luck by growing
madhumbe, a high water consuming crop.

Chigayo started last year at a small piece of land and this
season he has decided to expand three times to make it 1.5 hectares after
realising some profits.

“I started as a joke here, we tried a variety of crops
failing until I decided to try madhumbe. I do not irrigate the area because up
there people irrigate their crops and this is a low-lying area and it is always
wet such that my job is to ensure the field is cleared of weeds,” he said.

The crop which is perennially cultivated for its large and
edible corms and more popular in Manicaland Province is on high demand in Chiredzi
such that I am looking forward to expand further next year, added Chigayo.

“In terms of market I do not struggle because it is still new
here a lot of people are interested, however, since I am still learning the
ropes on growing madhumbe I have encountered some challenges like diseases to
which at times i’m forced to approach experts in Manicaland,” he said.

Despite bringing some income, the family has managed to
perfectly replace bread with madhumbe for breakfast as explained by Chigayo’s
wife, Emily.

Despite this development which shows expansion and increased
production of this nutritious crop from Manicaland and other areas it is also
important to bring its production in compliance with wetland conservation and
sustainable agriculture in other areas.

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