Technology key in farming

By Nathaniel Gondo


CHINHOYI – TECHNOLOGY plays an important role in farming and
blueberries, in particular, require technology in order to achieve maximum
At Avalon Farm in Makonde District, technology is playing an important role
where they have 24 hectares of blueberries. Blueberries requires precision
irrigation as the plants are sensitive to over-watering and under-watering.
Stephen Swanepoel of the Avalon Farm says that almost everything at the
farm is automated and the blueberries are irrigated using automated drippers.
“These blueberries have been planted in pots. They got four drippers per pot.
Every single plant is irrigated six times a day through the automated system.
All its nutrients, chemicals and everything is fed through the drippers,” said
Through technology, they were able to plant six hectares after they hired a
South African company to undertake chemical and structural analysis.
Blueberry plants are self-pollinating, but they produce better yields with the
help of bees. Technology such as beehive monitoring systems have played a
part in ensuring that the plants are getting the pollination they need.
There are 140 beehives at the farm, which speeds up the process of
pollination. They use about five to six beehives per hectare.
Without technology, Swanepoel says the project would most likely fail as
much attention which beyond human expertise is required. They are still
learning the new venture from overseas counterparts.
“Technology is very important; extremely important because if you think you
can grow the blueberries and water with hosepipe azviite. It’s not gonna
happen. You will fail. We are still learning. I have got a learner plate on the
back of my head. We are constantly keeping in touch with people in Australia,
South Africa and Morocco to learn new things,” he said.
Most of their produce is being exported to countries like The Netherlands,
United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
They are also currently seized with wheat winter farming.

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