ZCDC donates start-up sorghum seeds to Arda Transau community

Community member Mr Onius Chiadzwa (right) hands over Seed Support to Chirasika Primary School Head, Mr Peter Mukanda.


Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (Pvt) Ltd has donated sorghum seeds to the Arda Transau community to assist with start-up sorghum seed for the Delta Market Project. Agriculture production remains a key source of livelihood for rural communities in Zimbabwe. Reliable rainfall, input costs and competitive markets, however, remain a challenge for farmers relying on rainfed or dryland agriculture. The three challenges are familiar to the Arda Transau community as farmers try to maximise the potential of agriculture to improve their living standards.

The Arda Transau community through representation from the local community leadership and Department of Crops & Livestock production managed to engage Delta Corporation for a sorghum production project. Delta Corporation is currently supporting farmers in sorghum production and the company also buys the farm product at maturity. Delta supports farmers with inputs (seed & fertiliser) & market, however, the input support is only provided when farmers are in year 2 (plus) of production with the company. Farmers in year 1 of the contract only receive marketing support. Fifty Arda Transau farmers were interested in entering in a contract with Delta for the sorghum production project. Most of the farmers did not have income to purchase start-up seed for the project and hence threatening the project to be implemented in the area. The community is requested assistance from ZCDC for the purchase of start-up sorghum seed

Participating farmers will gain entry in the Delta Corporation contract scheme. The scheme will give them an opportunity to get benefits like input support and market from the company in future seasons. This will also ensure farmers income sources are enhanced and hence improving their income security. Sorghum is a drought tolerant crop and easy to manage, the success rate of production is high.

The community will directly implement the project in their field. Each farmer is expected to produce 1 hectare of sorghum. The expected yields are around 4 tonnes per hectare. During the 2019 season, Delta was buying sorghum at RTGS 4 000.00 per tonne, hence farmers will expect a gross revenue of +RTGS 16 000.00 (using 2019 figures).

The Department of Crop & Livestock and a selected community committee will supervise other project activities. Such activities include, registration of farmers (meet Delta standards), contract signing, input distribution, extension and monitoring support.

Delta Corporation will also follow up with production technical backstopping and organising farmers for delivery of produce to the market. This will be done to ensure the sorghum delivered meet the company standards.

ZCDC will ensure registered farmers in the project get and sign for the input purchased. The Department of Crops & Livestock will distribute inputs and accounting while the production contract will be between the community and Delta Corporation.