Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

The HaSSP field day at Fuve Panganai Irrigation Scheme in Zaka, Zimbabwe
3 June 2013

The Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in collaboration with its country partners in Zimbabwe, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and GRM International convened a field day under the Harmonized Seed Security Project (HaSSP) with funding from the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). The field day took place on Friday the 24th of May 2013 at Fuve Panganayi Irrigation Scheme in Zaka.

The objectives of the field day were: to showcase seed production activities by Zaka Seed Farmers conducted under the HaSSP project; to raise awareness on the importance of promoting smallholder seed systems for seed security as well as food security and; to share best practices in seed production amongst smallholder farmers. The guest of honour was the Deputy Director of Research Services Mr Claid Mujaju, representing the Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development - Mr Ngoni Masoka. Attendance at the field day included representatives from the Private Sector, international NGOs, local NGOs, farmer organizations, faith based organizations, community based organizations, students from the local school, the media, as well as government officials.

The highlights of the event were the field tour of sugar bean crop, varieties - Noah 45 and Gloria. The crop was at pod formation stage and the total area planted - 0.3 ha. The HaSSP seed growers- Mr Mahowa and Mr Mabasa who had produced seed crops of the variety Gloria and Noah 45 respectively provided information on how they had managed the seed crops from planting, fertilizer application, weeding, irrigating and spraying of crop chemicals to protect the crop from pests and diseases.

Noah 45 is an early maturing variety compared to Gloria. In addition, it has high nutritive value because it contains zinc and iron. The field day participants were given an opportunity to ask questions related to the production of the seed crop.

Next on tour was the Fuve Panganai warehouse where Mr Cosmos Mapfumo provided a guided tour. He gave a demonstration on seed sampling of seed lots, germination evaluation tests, the fumigation process, seed treatment, packaging and labelling of the seed lots. Thereafter, the seed would be ready for distribution and marketing locally and regionally.

The event was wrapped with a formal ceremony where speeches were made and various entertainment activities showcased. Prizes were also awarded to the best seed producers. Dr Claid Mujaju delivered the key note address on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development. He highlighted that seed is the most important agricultural input besides fertilizers and chemicals. Therefore, it is important to grow certified seed because farmers are assured of seed that is of high quality and of higher yields. The chairperson of Zaka Super Seeds Mr Munyaradzi Chipinda highlighted that farmers are getting access to certified seed which is of good quality at affordable prices. He highlighted that the major challenges they were facing were related to the scarcity of basic seed, and procurement of fertilizer and chemicals due to the high cost of transport. However, he thanked FANRPAN for assisting the community seed producers through the partnership with GRM International, as well as the extension services.

To finally wrap up the event, Chief Nhema gave the vote of thanks.

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