HOST FARMER: Mr Tawanda Garwe
Farming as a business requires serious planning & commitment in respect to time & resources. It requires a willingness to embrace new technologies which include the use of highbrid seeds. This is one technology that Mr Tawanda Garwe (Son of Chief Justice Garwe of Mt Lothian/ Sevenza farm Goromonzi) openly embraced. Mr Tawanda Garwe’s success story started with the RIGHT CHOICE OF SEED from Seed CO. Seed CO varieties are bred with 3 main components which guarantee successful farming enterprises these are:
- High yield component (cobing ability, cob attractiveness, row number & shelling percentage)
- Defensive/ Agronomic traits, Abiotic factors like drought tolerance & Biotic factors like disease tolerance (Grey leaf spot) & standability
- Climate change mitigation (drought escape & avoidance)
Having considered the above Mr T Garwe went with the high yielding varieties SC 719 & SC 727 with a yield record of over 21 tonnes/ha from the previous season. This was under optimum growing conditions & good agronomic practices, judging from what the crowd at the field day saw Mr T. Garwe seems set for a bumper harvest.
However there are no shortcuts to successful farming, this was one of the many lessons drawn from Mr Tawanda Garwe’s field day. High yield comes at a price. The crop was established mid November with the onset of the rainy season, this is the recommended planting time for long season varieties like SC 719 & SC 727. The farmer then went on to follow good agronomic practices by using prescribed fertilizers, herbicides & insecticides. At the field day farmers learnt a lot about optimum plant populations with emphasize being placed by Seed Co for farmers to observe optimum plant populations of between 50 000 to 55 000 plants per hectare. It was also emphasized that when looking for yield Seed CO is the best choice of seed due to its high shelling percentage, row number & long fat cobs.
Despite the occasional rains, the field day was attended by over 500 people including A1 /A2 farmers & students from Harare polytechnic college. Young farmers were also amongst the crowd as they had come to support Mr Tawanda Garwe an ambassador of the Federation Of Young Farmers in Goromonzi. Various stakeholders also graced the occasion to educate the farmers about their products (Omnia, ZFC, Windmill & TRB). The guest of Honor was Hon Mudarikwa who gave an informative & educative speech, with lessons to take home including accountability, hard work & persistence.
In conclusion, farmers should strive to increase their yields as this directly impacts on their return per dollar invested as well as builds on the food security of the nation. It is important to remember that there are many ways to achieve low yields in farming but only two ways to get high yields & succeed in farming that is the RIGHT SEED & GOOD AGRONOMIC PRACTICES/GAP’s.