Farm produce rots

roads deteriorate
maize_crop_zimCHIMANIMANI - Poor road networks in Chimanimani district have forced many small food producers to incur heavy losses as their fresh food rots by the road side due to non-availability of transport to the market. (Pictured: Women check their maize crop on their small vegetable

Farmers said their cash strapped local authority has failed to release funds for the repairing of the road networks in their areas. In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Chimanimani Rural District Council chairman, Elijah Mujebe said that as a result of poor road network, many small scale farmers failed to transport their fresh produce to the market. Mugebe also said poor roads were hampering food distribution to thousands of needy and desperate families from Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)s.

“Our produce is rotting because there is no transport coming to this area. Our council cannot help because it is broke. Our Member of Parliament Zanu (PF) legislator Samuel Undenge is not anything to help the situation. He is rather a missing person not an MP,” said Chris Kauso, a local farmer.

Small scale farmers interviewed by The Zimbabwean last week said they had tried to engage a local Zanu (PF) legislator Samuel Undenge, but nothing had materialised. “Undenge is not doing anything for our community. He was just elected into office to line his pocket and not to serve the electorate. We have learnt a lesson and we will not entertain cheap talk from Zanu (PF) politicians anymore. He thinks some of the villagers in some of the places voted against him during the 2008 harmonised elections” said Wilfred Ndangana, one of the local villagers.

A survey carried out by this paper last week on Monday revealed that roads that link places such as Risitu, Chikukwa, Mhakwe and Chayamiti are in a sorry state, and this has impact on small scale farmers who transport their produce to local markets and places as far as Harare and Mutare. Farmers complained that although they are being forced to pay rates, the council is not doing much to improve service delivery. Mugebe said they were being hindered by lack of funds and obsolete equipment to repair dilapidated roads.

The Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT) which deals with intergraded rural development programme for food security, said farmers must have direct access to market. The trust has been responsible for introducing indigenous vegetable farming that adapts to effects of climate change and add nutritional value to people living with HIV and Aids in the area.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *