Zimbabwe: Farmers Dodge Greedy Middlemen – Set Up Association to Peg Producer Price and Source Markets

Small holder farmers in three districts of Manicaland province have set up a marketing association dedicated to cultivating strong networks to ensure they earn fair prices for agricultural produce.

NewZimbabwe.com gathered farmers from Chipinge, Chimanimani and Buhera districts have joined hands to come up with a new marketing and business model.

They are from irrigation schemes namely Maunganidze, Nyanyadzi, Tonhorai, Bonda, Devuli, Gudyanga, Chakohwa, Mutema, Bwerudza, Musikavanhu, Chibuwe, Taona and Deure.

The development comes after a United States-based economic growth and development advisor, Dr Patrick Ludgate, recently trained a contingent so they augment their incomes by practicing market oriented agriculture, as opposed to subsistence farming.

Most small holder farmers in the region were bearing the brunt of exploitation by greedy middlemen, who set the price for produce, and got higher returns than the farmers, despite incurring notable costs during the production cycle.

Deure Irrigation Cooperative Society Limited Scheme business manager, Victor Makuyana, said farmers launched a marketing board last week in a bid to tame the tide.

Makuyana noted the association was noble as it will allow farmers set up fair prices for their fresh produce and increase their market share.

“The board will regulate and monitor fair trade within the irrigation schemes through same standards,” said Makuyana.