Experts in sugarcane farming say smallholder farmers have potential to contribute significantly to the country’s sugarcane yield but need requisite training to increase productivity.
As sugarcane farmers move towards increasing the cane yield to 120 tonnes per hectare by 2020 against the current average yield of 76 tonnes per hectare, training has been cited as an important component to reach the target.
A number of small-holder farmers are going through training with the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) in the hope to empower them with new trends on sugarcane farming.
Professor Munashe Shoko, who is leading the training programme, says it is important to help smallholder farmers realise acceptable yield as this will help the country get surplus in terms of sugar production for exportation.
“Our main target is to produce 120 tonnes per hectare by 2020 and the only way to achieve this is through proper scientific ways of sugarcane produce, hence it is important to train these farmers starting from knowing their soils up to accountability,” said Professor Shoko.
The training is useful as it includes financial literacy and understanding of commercial law skills which has been lacking in many of us said smallholder farmers.
The sugar industry is critical in the development of Masvingo province, specifically Chiredzi district, hence the call for support.