Reconfiguring agricultural extension in post land reform Zimbabwe: towards a new philosophy? (Part 1)

Taruvinga Magwiroto I had an interesting discussion with my professor some time ago about problems and issues in agricultural extension philosophy. I observed that the American version of rural extension is premised more on educational studies, concerned as it is on building up the skill base of rural folks. In Europe, the focus is more on innovation; therefore extension theory is based more on communication. … Continue reading Reconfiguring agricultural extension in post land reform Zimbabwe: towards a new philosophy? (Part 1)

Mugabe, in Jacob Zuma’s words.

Taruvinga Magwiroto Well, I will describe him as one of our heroes who has been in the struggle from a young age…I don’t think he knew any other thing except the struggle Jacob Zuma on Robert Mugabe on SABC. As a writer, I consider myself to be a special witness. This, I believe, gives me the right to tell stories, particularly the African story. So … Continue reading Mugabe, in Jacob Zuma’s words.

A False Start: The Agric Education Years

Taruvinga Magwiroto Whether it was fate unfolding, or just sheer bad luck, it’s up to you to decide. So at the end of 2005, after the Binga bunga bunga, the Msambakaruma incidences and Magunje escapades, I was ready to call time to my days in the field. I was joining the Agricultural Education Department as a lecturer, excited to become a proper “Sir!”  I had … Continue reading A False Start: The Agric Education Years

The future of agriculture in Zimbabwe: science of common sense

Taruvinga L. Magwiroto According to estimates by the World Food Programme, 5.5 million Zimbabweans will need food aid this year. This is a result of drought and related weather calamities. But in large measure, this is an indictment of our agriculture system. From a food and nutrition security, we have stagnated, nay, degenerated since the land reform programme. Those with pieces of land but not … Continue reading The future of agriculture in Zimbabwe: science of common sense

Coping with the Dry Season

Taruvinga Magwiroto In Southern Africa, the dry season is upon us. Traditionally, this means the time of “mashanga” where animals are free to graze in the harvested fields. As livestock farmers we need to know what is happening to the veld, and what this means to our animals. We then need to know what steps we can take to soften the worst effects of the … Continue reading Coping with the Dry Season

Small holder livestock entrepreneurs: survival tactics in tough business environment

Taruvinga Magwiroto Acacia legume plant. Seen here growing at Henderson Researc Station, Mazowe. Planted pastures can be a great way of ensuring adequate nutritious supplies of feed to animals. Lucerne, seen here growing at the University of Zimbabwe Animal House garden, Mt Pleasant. Growing legume plants can be a cheaper way of supplying proteins to animals. It is common cause that the current hyper-inflationary situation … Continue reading Small holder livestock entrepreneurs: survival tactics in tough business environment

On-farm feed rations based on locally available ingredients (for goats and cattle)

Taruvinga Magwiroto We know that stock feed constitutes 65-70% of your running costs in livestock projects. We also know that most velds and pastures in Zimbabwe and Africa are degraded. Planting of improved varieties of pasture grasses and legumes has not been adopted much by farmers, due to communal nature of grazing resources; costs of paddocking; and shortage of water. This brings us to consider … Continue reading On-farm feed rations based on locally available ingredients (for goats and cattle)

Broiler deaths: common causes and solutions

Taruvinga Magwiroto This article I recommend that every broiler farmer to read, print out and move around with it! The trick in broiler production is to prevent illness. Once you start having large losses/deaths, you would have failed in preventing diseases. Here are the actions you take to minimise losses and why you do it. The first thing to note about broilers is that, even … Continue reading Broiler deaths: common causes and solutions