Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Oh pigs, the other white meat.
We get a lot of questions from new and aspiring farmers wanting to raise pigs. They mostly come from people who have watched Kundai's Zimbabwe Farmer Union (ZFU) profile video where she shares how she grew an existing indoor pig operation on our family's farm in Ruwa. The number one question we get asked is can and should I raise pigs.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
There are widespread media reports that the armyworm is threatening this season's maize production in many maize growing regions of Zimbabwe. The government has disbursed insecticides to some areas to prevent widespread crop failure. The same pest has already caused a national crisis in Zambia. We have received requests from emerging farmers asking for information on how to handle the armyworms in their maize. Instead of responding individually we thought it would be helpful to share information broadly here to help reduce major crop losses from our country's most important food crop.
What is the Fall Armyworm (FAW)?
The armyworm is a destructive crop pest. The moth hatches a caterpillar which feeds on cereals such as maize. The caterpillars are about 3-4 cm long and have a velvety black shiny head with an inverted V-shaped mark on the head and white stripes along their sides and the back. They are called armyworms because they march in large numbers from the grass onto crops and can destroy entire fields of cereal crops such as maize, sorghum, and millet.
The other English name for the armyworm is the black worm.The local language names for the armyworm are imhogoyi or mhundururu.
Monday, December 5, 2016
One of the challenges you face as an emerging farmer is deciding what to grow on your farm. It’s a topic we get asked about a lot.
Please don’t copy what other farmers are doing without first understanding why they doing it. Even if you copy something that is working for another farmer, it doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. They may have farming experience, soil, climate or a market that you don't have. Sometimes you end up copying a farmer who also doesn’t know what they are doing.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
"It all starts with the soil."
That is what they say in organic farming. It's true even in conventional farming because soil doesn't simply hold your plants, it also supports them. Success in farming is largely dependent on the quality of your soil.
Unfortunately years of unsustainable agriculture practices have degraded the soil in many parts of the country and continent turning it into dust. The soil is now out of balance and unable to provide plants the conditions that they need to survive. So what has caused this you ask? Damaging things like planting the same crops in the same fields year after year, using too much fertilizer, tilling excessively, working wet soil and cutting down trees.
Monday, October 17, 2016
As a farmer you don't get a lot of shots at making a profit in a growing season. You have to be very thoughtful about what you choose to grow. It is after all your livelihood. Edible beans ( fabaceae) can help diversify your farm income and make your farm more sustainable. They can be interplanted with other crops such as maize, and also grown as cover crops. They are a wide variety of beans to choose from making it likely for you to find a type that is best suited for your farm.
Let's get started...