It was a cheerful time in Matebeleland Province in the area of Bambangamandla Village in Tsholotsho on 7 December 2020, as corporates and surrounding farmers gathered at Fionah Moyo’s homestead who is a farmer in the province to witness and celebrate Mr Elisha Bepete for scooping the best extension officer at the 2018 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show.
Mr Bepete was honoured for being the best extension officer who railed behind the farmer who won a tractor for being the overall best winning farmer in the Agri Produce section at the 2018 Zimbabwe Agricultural Show. Mr Bepete was given a brand-new motorbike as a prize and a shield of honour. In early 2020, Mr Bepete was also part of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme in Matebeleland Province and was applauded for being the extension officer who engaged the most farmers in the Programme.
The event was graced by the Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo, the Managing Director of Agriseeds Pvt Ltd Mr Simon Nyanhete, The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society Board Chairman Mr Ivan Craig and the Acting Chief Executive Officer Engineer Enkerlbert Makaure.
In his congratulatory speech, Minister Moyo mentioned “the role of Extension officer’s (Mudhumeni) is important as it intermediates between the researchers and the farmers by disseminating and impacting knowledge and helps increase the farmers income by implementing projects with collaborators and their stakeholders.” Minister Moyo further mentioned that extension officers work hand in glove with farmers to “run obligatory courses and spearhead demonstrations with farmers withing their provinces as a way of increasing Agricultural productivity and fostering food security.” Farmers and Extension Officers were both encouraged to work together with the government for a better Agricultural framework and policy implementation.
During the event an emphasis was made to how important the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show contributes towards Agriculture productivity. “Shows provide a learning and an opportunities platform as they bring together stakeholders in the agricultural value chain from seed houses, chemical and fertilizer suppliers and equipment providers to financial institutions and marketing organizations. I urge all of you gathered here today to take advantage of this important platform provided by organizations such as ZAS and Bulawayo Agricultural Show Society, and partake in Shows.” added honorable Moyo during his speech. Stakeholders, agricultural societies across the country and Extension officers were encouraged to continue to support the farmers, as agriculture is the backbone of the economy.
Agriseeds partnered with ZAS during the event and the seed house participated greatly towards this event and sponsored maize seed as a way of encouraging farmers to participate in the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.
Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) Chief Executive officer, Eng. Enkerlbert Makaure encouraged other famers to participate in the shows from ward level up to national level as this encourages farmers to learn new agricultural skills and knowledge. “I urge all of you to take notes from the farmer who won at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show, and implement what you have learnt from the shows from ward level to national level and who knows maybe the next time we will be gathered at your homestead” Eng. Makaure said.