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Nehanda Guardian Provincial Newspapers

Couple wins 2023 Cotton Farmer of the Year award


By Melody Chimombe

A Mount Darwin couple from Tsakare has been crowned the 2023 Overall Cotton Farmer of the Year winners despite enduring a torrid season spoilt by infestation of the white mealie bug.

The Lyn Rabvu couple received their accolades from the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, at a prize-giving ceremony held at Tsakare Primary School last Friday. The prize included a tractor, food hampers and the certificate.

The Rabvu family said they never thought that one day they would become recognisable farmers across the country, particularly this year. The farmers said they battled the white mealie bug.

“We are happy today that we have won this prize. We are, however, encouraging the agriculture ministry to avail enough pesticides when they parcel out Pfumvudza inputs in the coming season, said Rabvu.

The family were beneficiaries of the Government-initiated Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs last season.

They were very happy to have been graced by the presence of a Government minister and being recognised among the best farmers of the season.

The family won the competitions from the district up to national level. Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Lands Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Vangelis Haritatos, called on cotton farmers to keep on doing their best for the purposes on generating income to feed their families and improving Zimbabwe’s textile industry.

‘’What we are witnessing today is a shining example of how agriculture can be turned into a profitable venture. Mr and Mrs Lynn Rabvu, Baba na Amai Chengaose the Grower of the Year for the 2023 farming season defied odds and excelled and as the Government we take pride in such determined farmers and in line with what our

President, His Excellency Cde E.D Mnangagwa’s mantra says: Nyika inovakwa Nevene Vayo! Mr Rabvu you took the vision and ran with it and for that we are proud of you,” Deputy Minister Haritatos said.

He praised Cottco for its commitment to transforming communities, making sure that farmers received their inputs on time.

He encouraged farmers to put the inputs to good use warning, those who practised side marketing and abuse of inputs were going to face the full wrath of the law. The Rabvu family attributed their success to President Mnangagwa's Vision 2030 which advocates for agricultural empowerment that brings about rural development, thus accelerating the attainment of Vision 2030.

“I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to the President, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa for the Presidential Input Scheme, which enabled me to attain the best cotton yields last season and I urge other farmers out there to venture into cotton farming, particularly the QM301 type as it adapts and thrives in water limited conditions’’ said Rabvu

Initially he had planted 6,3 hectares of QM301 cotton with each hectare producing 2600kgs and eighty (80) bales. He further attributed his success to Cottco and Agritex Agricultural Extension officers as they worked tirelessly, assisting him.

Rabvu went on to advise farmers to fully utilise the inputs given to them accordingly, citing good land preparation and weeding as other factors that contribute to good cotton yields

Other winners were Michael Ndlovu, Fungai Mhlanga, and Cheidi Kanoyerera.

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