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Diaspora returnee turns into champion farmer

by Staff reporter
19 Feb 2024 at 04:46hrs | Views
FARMING in Mangwe in Matebeleland South can be difficult, but Mr Kuzolunga Ncube Mabuza, a champion farmer in the arid lands of Makorokoro area has on his return from South Africa become a pacesetter.

With a farm that boasts livestock, a massive solar-powered borehole that provides his farm with endless supplies of water, an orchard, plants and exotic fruit trees, Mr Mabuza seeks to become the first self-made integrated model farmer in Makorokoro.

A diaspora returnee, Mr Mabuza was born into a family of farmers in Makorokoro 45 years ago, but after turning 16, he crossed to South Africa in search of employment. From working at a farm he shifted to work at a gas company and then later established his own firm, Shesha Gas.

"My family has always been into farming. My father was a renowned farmer in this area and beyond. He always told us that the only key to becoming successful was in the land and farming is the only way.

"He was so passionate about farming that he would make sure that every day after school we would go to the fields and assist with farm work.

"There we learnt a lot and to this day all he taught me is yielding success."

Mr Mabuza said while in South Africa he would practice cellphone farming where he would entrust someone to watch over his farm and livestock.

However, he realised that this was not effective, and instead of generating income, it was biting into his savings.

With the problems of foreign lands, Mr Mabuza decided to return home and become a full-time farmer in a rural setup.

"I am not your ordinary type of farmer and I don't want to be identified as one. I am extraordinary and have a vision I want this community to benefit from," he told our Bulawayo Bureau at his farm.

"Our area is known for being dry and less productive in crop generation. For that reason I adopted a blueprint entrusted to us by our President (Mnangagwa) who launched a project here to better the lives of villagers in this area through the horticulture scheme that saw many benefiting from," said Mr Mabuza.

He decided to develop his own farm in the same image as that of the Makorokoro Presidential horticulture project, although with a few improvements.

"I want this farm to be fully functional and produce all types of crops, animals and plants. Already, as it is I have procured Boer goats for a goat project, I also practice dairy farming, and I have an orchard, ducks, chickens and exotic birds," said Mr Mabuza.

"My aim is to ensure that the people of my community don't starve.

"When I started this project I started with fresh produce, which was and is in demand here.

"People have to travel long distances to buy crops such as carrots, butternut, cabbages and tomatoes, but with this, I seek to make that a thing of the past," he said.

Mr Mabuza wanted to provide endless possibilities to the people of Makorokoro and now was already working towards constructing a new dam in the area to harvest water.

"Water is a serious problem here, people lose livestock and cannot farm because of this. I am in the process of raising funds to construct a dam that will assist the community," said Mr Mabuza.

He was keen to empower the youth, many being young men and women who have either travelled abroad or seen a world of endless opportunities or those who have been possessed by the development spirit, which saw the re-election of President Mnangagwa.

"When you engage with each of these young men and women, it is this man's vision that each of them speaks of as a source of inspiration," said Mr Mabuza.

Life across the borders is not all rosy as many believe it is and urged young people to return home and practice farming, which is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy.

"We can all play a role in ushering Zimbabwe into a middle-income economy by the year 2030. I have been back for two years now and the results are there for everyone to see," said Mr Mabuza.

"When President Mnangagwa came to Jinjika to launch the project, I was there and I loved the project. I never believed that cabbages could be grown on this arid land. I copied what I saw at the President's launch and its working, this is not the end.

"I don't want people to go hungry, which is why I want to expand the place to provide food for the community.

"No matter where you are, take farming into consideration. If you have the land, use it to feed the nation."

Mr Mabuza wants to be an inspiration to many and take advantage of the land and available natural resources to create jobs for many.

"The next time you are here, you will find a fully functional grinding mill and a food processing plant," he said.

Mr Mabuza employs six workers and wants to double the figure when he completes the installation of his grinding mill and gets grid power connected.

"My solar power plant doesn't generate enough to pump water as well as do other projects. This is where I would like the Government to intervene," he said.

"I urge young people to remain focused because our Government is trying its best. What people do not realise is that for business to grow, there must be enabling policies.

"For us, we have the human capital, the land, water and an enabling policy. You will never realise what you can do until you have done it. So it's doable."

Source - The Herald