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Why you cannot be a cell phone farmer in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is predominantly an agro based economy. Though blessed with vast arable land, our conversion rate has been pathetic to say the least. We have been unable to fully utilise the land for economic prosperity, save for the tobacco sector which has seen massive gains in terms of export value and a sharp increase of the number of growers in recent times.
The Land Reform programme was aimed at empowering the black majority by transforming peasant farmers into commercial and semi-commercial farmers. From the political side, it was meant to address the ills of the colonial era, by ensuring the black majority were given access to land.
Agriculture like any industry or sector requires massive investment in both time and other tangible resources. The Land Reform has seen a lot of people who previously had no prospects of owning arable land owning it, but that, for some people has been the end. Land ownership is not and cannot be an end, it is a means to an end, a means of production.
Most agriculture projects mature in real time, which means that a lot happens over a very small period of time. What does this mean for the farmer? It implies time is more precious in agriculture than in most industries. In a week crops or stock can grow so much or a week away can translate to disaster.
Farming requires commitment, serious commitment. If you cannot afford to invest in a good farm manager, then you definitely need to invest yourself instead.
Farming if properly done has potentially higher returns in relation to most industries. The beauty of farming is that most crops and stock have a relatively short maturity period.
The most common mistake is to assume that farming is easy, the second most common mistake is to assume that you can still harvest well even if you don’t put in so much. The cell phone famer assumes that he/she can simply neglect responsibility without consequences.
All beneficiaries of the land reform program must ensure they are contributing to economic growth by fully utilising the land. It is not only criminal to hold on to productive land and not use it, it is an act of terror against all Zimbabweans. Our people cannot starve when we have vast arable land. We cannot import food any longer.

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