Agriculture

Processed agricultural products show on next month

PROCESSED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS FAIR SET FOR NEXT MONTH
Harare June 26, 2012(New Ziana) –The third edition of the Processed Products Fair will be held at the Harare Agricultural Show grounds on July 12 and 13 this year.
Smallholder farmers working with nine Non-Governmental Organizations under the Zimbabwe Adding Value to Sustainable Agriculture Produce (ZAVSAP) network will participate in the two-day show.
ZAVSAP works with its members to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, focusing on areas of food processing, nutrition and marketing.
Program coordinator Thomas Pouppez said on Tuesday the exhibition would showcase the difference that network members were making in peoples’ lives through improved support to small-scale farming.
“We organize training and exchange visits for staff as well as lead farmers in good nutrition, preparation and processing of healthy foods from sweet potatoes and cassava, herbs, tomato, wild fruits, cowpeas and soya bean, moringa and honey, to mention but a few,” he said.
“Starting this year we are also looking into value-addition and marketing possibilities for poultry, pig and goat or sheep products,” he said.
The past two fairs were held at the Nelson Mandela Hall at the show grounds and both were big successes with over 500 people, representing local and international NGOs, government institutions, schools and private companies visiting.
Pouppez said farmers will showcase the usual agricultural food products such as dried fruit, vegetables and herbs, peanut butter, cooking oil and jam as well “newer” like sweet potato juice and jam, cowpea meatballs, sorghum bread and soya fritters.
“Most of the products will be on sale too,” he said.
Organisations such as German Agro Action, Parirenyatwa, Murehwa Foods Processors, Zimbabwe Women against HIV and AIDS will be among the exhibitors.
Since its inception in April 2008, ZAVSAP has been promoting the growing of traditional and better suited crops in the Mashonaland provinces focusing on “orphan” or shunned crops such as small grains, sweet potato, cassava and legumes.
New Ziana

Ginners blasted for profiteering

Harare June 26, 2012 (New Ziana)-The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Resettlement, Lands and Water Development on Tuesday grilled the Cotton Ginners Association (CGA) over its profiteering tendencies which are making it difficult for farmers to return to the field.

Ginners and farmers have been bickering over the producer price of cotton since the beginning of the marketing season resulting in the latter vowing to hold on to their crop.

Merchants were offering between 36 cents and 50 cents per kilogram of cotton while farmers are demanding between 75 cents and $1, 20 per kilogram.

Bikita South MP Jani Varandeni said the CGA was ripping off farmers by selling agricultural inputs at inflated prices.

Varandeni said many farmers had not even heard of the CGA yet it was also part of the committee responsible for setting up prices of the commodity. 

He said as a cotton farmer himself, he was holding on to 60 bales of the crop and was contemplating pulling out of cotton farming like many other farmers.

Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka said the ginners were only concerned with profiteering at the expense of the farmers.

“You are only concerned about getting profits not even worrying about the farmers. You should share the losses as well,” she said.

Prominent farmer and Muzarabani South MP Edward Raradza also heaped blame on the merchants for neglecting farmers.

Mhondoro-Ngezi MP Bright Matonga said the cotton industry was “in a mess” and the country risked not having any cotton farmers if the problems bedeviling the sector were not resolved soon.

In their defense CGA chairman who is also COTTCO managing director David Machingaidze said the prices they were offering would allow them to recoup their investments after selling on the international market.

Machingaidze said ginners had invested $42 million under the contract scheme in the past cropping season.

He said instead of focusing on the price dispute, parties involved including the government should aim to find ways of increasing yields.

Machingaidze said the government should allow market forces to determine the price of the white gold.

“Within the course of next month ginners need to confirm inputs for the next season. We need assurance if government still wants contract farming to continue.

“We are fighting over the wrong thing because we do not control the international price. We should try to fix the yield per hectare,” he said.

New Ziana

Zim farmers urged to add value to cotton

PROCESS COTTON LOCALLY FARMERS URGED
Harare June 12, 2012 (New Ziana) -Cotton farmers should invest in equipment to add value to their produce in order to cushion themselves from price fluctuations, an official said on Tuesday.
Currently ginners control the cotton industry setting prices which farmers always contest and describe as not viable.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop to discuss cotton prices, Chipinge West legislator Nyamudedza Sibonile said cotton farmers should take advantage of the government empowerment program to expand their operations to include processing of the crop.
“The government has put in place empowerment programs that small scale cotton farmers should take advantage of and establish ginneries in their respective growing regions”, he said.
“Ginning will ensure that farmers have control over higher valued cotton lint and the ownership of by-products”, he said.  
The local textile industry is absorbing 5 percent of the crop with the rest being exported, a scenario which has exposed the country to fluctuations in pricing on the international market.
Currently the farmers and ginners are failing to reach an agreement on pricing of this season’s crop.
The deadlock over pricing has resulted in delays in opening the cotton marketing season as farmers are holding on to their crop.
New Ziana

Farmers vow to keep their cotton

COTTON FARMERS VOW TO HOLD ON TO THEIR CROP
Harare June 11, 2012 (New Ziana) – Cotton famers on Monday vowed to continue holding on to their crop until buyers offered minimum prices that they are demanding.
The famers are demanding a minimum price of US$0, 80 for the least grade whilst cotton merchants want to pay US$0, 30 a development that had resulted in delays in opening the marketing season, which usually starts in April.
Famers from all over the cotton farming regions who met at a Cotton national stakeholders’ roundtable in Harare said they would not sell their commodity until better prices were offered.
“We are considering all the costs we incurred in production. We will not sell until the buyers come with better offers,” said Gokwe famer Ishmael Gwekwerere.
Gwekwerere said what the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and cotton merchants were offering was not adequate for the famer to meet production costs and go back to the field in the next faming season.
“We are appealing to the government to come up with a position because the talks have failed to yield anything,” he added.
Muzarabani farmer Wellington Mazarura urged the government to chip in with some form of subsidy.
“If the merchants do not meet what we are demanding, I am appealing to government to bridge the balance as a subsidy,” he said.
Mazarura said that way famers were ensured of better returns which would enable them to pay for costs, labour and other logistics.
Cotton Ginners Association (CGA) director general Godfrey Buka told the same gathering that there was nothing that could be done until international prices firmed.
Buka said there was low demand for the commodity on a flooded market hence prices were continuing to drop.
“Last year in April international prices were as high as US$2, 45 but the same period this year prices are ranging from US$0, 70 going down,” he said.
He challenged famers to increase yields per hectare saying that would also improve the returns.
AMA marketing and economic research executive director Nancy Zitsanza said concerted efforts were needed to solve the challenges the cotton industry was facing.
“Famers should strive to increase to at least an overage of 700 kg per hectare which will result in increased earnings,” she said.
Zitsanza said AMA would continue to stand as a facilitator to both famers and merchants to find a common solution to the pricing impasse.
The government recently announced that it was drafting a Statutory Instrument that would make cotton a controlled product.
Meanwhile dialogue between the famers and cotton merchants continues on Tuesday amid high expectations of a positive outcome.
New Ziana 

Small scale sugarcane farmers target 500 000 tonnes

SMALL SCALE SUGARCANE GROWERS TARGET 500 000 TONNES
Harare June 11, 2012 (New Ziana) - Small scale sugarcane farmers expect to produce 500 000 tonnes of raw sugar this year, up from 400 000 tonnes last year.
Harvesting of sugarcane started in April in the Lowveld and is expected to continue until December.
The price of raw sugar for this marketing season is currently pegged at US$700 per tonne.
Commercial Sugar Cane Association of Zimbabwe chairperson Admore Hwarare said farmers were expecting a better harvest this year compared to the previous one.
“We will be at 500 000 tonnes this year and next year we expect to surpass our raw sugar quota of 600 000 tonnes,” he said.
“Next year we will certainly meet our quota.”
Sugarcane is grown commercially in the south-eastern part of Zimbabwe.
Companies that grow sugarcane in the country include multinationals Triangle and Hippo Valley.
Hwarare said support from the government and some of the multinational companies have made it possible for small scale farmers to increase production.
Sugarcane production in the 2012/13 farming season is estimated at 3.5 million tonnes, 17 percent more than the 3 million tonnes produced in 2011/12.
Zimbabwe exports at least 40 percent of its sugar output onto the international market with the crop being the third foreign currency earner after tobacco and cotton.
The country has the potential to produce up to about 4.4 million tonnes of sugarcane annually.
Exports of sugar are projected to reach 160,000 tonnes in the 2012/13 season, with the European Union and the United States as major destinations.
New Ziana

Photo Gallery 

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/536265img1.jpg

Kids talk to soldier dad in Ir

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/168258img2.jpg

U.S. lacks mechanism to accura

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/133965img3.jpg

US Tank and Cryogenics has ove

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/507035img4.jpg

The Black Hawk helicopter seri

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/371478img5.jpg

Listen to child soldiers, woun

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/774443img7.jpg

Helicopters carried US and Afg

Rioting has erupted at a march to commemorate the killing of a 15-year-old boy who was shot by Greek police in 2008. Officers fired tear gas at scores of hooded See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/571155img14.jpg

We left the observation post t

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/205742img16.jpg

Street Battles As Army Tackles

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

http://newziana.co.zw/components/com_gk3_photoslide/thumbs_big/564842img17.jpg

Thousands of Troops Are Deploy

President-elect Barack Obama intends to sign off on Pentagon plans to send up to 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, but the incoming administration does not anticipate that the Iraq-like See details

Latest comments