Zimbabwean farmers have been called on to grow castor beans, a crop that is expected to guarantee farmers a decent livelihood and generate the much needed foreign currency for the country.
The call was made at a field day held in Mt Hampden where farmers from across the country received knowledge to grow the high export value crop which has a ready market locally and internationally.
“Castor bean has the advantage of being in the field for up to five years, the crop is not labour intensive, does not require a lot of water and assures a farmer of an income every four months,” said one farmer attending field day.
As a farmer, I have noticed that the castor bean plant is not very complicated. We have had a germination rate of over 90 percent and with earnings which can breach the $20 000 mark per year, this is certainly the crop to grow,” another farmer said.
Harare South legislator, Cde Tongai Mnangagwa and guest of honour at the event said the castor bean initiative dovetails into efforts that the government is making to unlock value from crops, value addition, employment and generate foreign currency for the country.
“We are confident that the growing of this crop will open up a new chapter in the country’s agricultural sector. We must be forward looking as a country and from what we have seen, this is the crop of the future. Apart from solving fuel challenges as the stalks can be used for bio-diesel, there are also numerous uses that will save the country the much needed foreign currency,” he noted.
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