Breadbasket of the Region

How Zimbabwe has Lost the Status of “Breadbasket of the Region”

At one point, Zimbabwe’s agriculture was considered a crown jewel of the continent and a breadbasket for the countries of southern Africa. However, over the course of several decades, the country’s agricultural sector was undermined by a number of factors, including climate change, poorly implemented agrarian policies, a lack of a knowledge-based approach to agricultural production, lack of agricultural machinery, the adoption of economic adjustment programs, and the politicization of arable land. For these reasons, Zimbabwe will always be haunted by the memory of her former glory and the traumas of being cast aside by rural production patterns.

Factors responsible for the deterioration of Agriculture

Although the 2001 Fast-Track Land Reform Program was intended as a positive step toward black empowerment, its lack of foundational principles contributed to a sharp decrease in Zimbabwe’s agricultural output, leaving the country a “case basket” for the rest of Africa. Millions of subsistence farmers who were ostensibly “resettled” on commercial farms that they owned outright were instead left to fend for themselves. Some of them lacked the necessary knowledge and agricultural machinery to cultivate grain. After losing their homes, 5,000 white commercial farmers gave up farming and moved abroad, taking their knowledge and expertise with them. The inability to pay off agricultural loans hampered the economy. Businesses in Bulawayo and Gweru, such as those producing fertilizer, tractors, combine harvesters and farm implements for sale and were liquidated because they relied too much on the agricultural value chain. In a nutshell, a country’s industrial sector that was/is largely established on agro-based businesses had to fail after the collapse of agricultural productivity.

The nation’s drought resilience mechanisms should be strengthened by more consistent drought-proofing strategies. It is still lacking in Zimbabwe as policies are crafted and implemented that prioritize livestock as an important asset for exchange during times of drought. This includes improving storage systems so that people can make it from season to season; encouraging switching to drought-resistant crops such as small grains; improving irrigation systems, and focusing on livestock as an important asset for exchange.

How Zimbabwe can restore its former status?

Despite the many obstacles facing Zimbabwe’s agricultural industry, there is still hope for its revival and reclaiming its former prominence if every Zimbabwean took personal responsibility for the sector’s growth and contributed to the actualization of agro-tech-related production (using proper agricultural machinery such as tractors, combine harvesters, farm implements, etc.) in the country, which would mitigate the negative effects of drought and provide farmers with the tools they need.

Farmers who have been resettled to a region should be given a thorough education in contemporary agricultural techniques, environmental conservation, and the need of preserving native tree species that act as rain catchers and slow the spread of desertification. Not only will the relocated farmers be educated, but they will also be given information on the most up-to-date norms and trends in agricultural output. The government of Zimbabwe needs to establish empowerment boards comprised of representatives from the ministries of finance, agriculture, and technology in order to jumpstart technological innovations that will reawaken the country’s agricultural sector and to prioritize funding for proposals based on novel ideas and for new types of farms.

Role of Tractors Zambia

Tractors Zimbabwe is a company that helps farmers in Zimbabwe by selling and financing tractors, Combine harvesters, and other farm implements manufactured by Massey Ferguson tractors and New Holland tractors. Tractors Zimbabwe not only sells tractors but also provides a wide range of agricultural support services.

Tags: , , , ,