Female extension officers - supporting the production of good food for all

SIRP - Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme > Impact > Female extension officers – supporting the production of good food for all

Female extension officers – supporting the production of good food for all

  • Posted by: Precious Nkomo
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The 75 hectare Mayorca Irrigation Scheme in Zhombe has been the site of many visits by various stakeholders since the completion of its rehabilitation and commissioning in early April this year. The scheme has adopted the block system, recommended by Government and this year produced maize, wheat and sugar beans which has enabled it to contribute to national food security.

Facilitating production by the 75 farmers at the scheme through giving out invaluable agricultural advice is Sylvia Mpofu who has been with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development since 2007.The simple , unassuming Mpofu was deployed to Mayorca in 2008.

Mpofu who enjoys a good working relationship with farmers at Mayorca attributes this to being a good listener and being accommodative of farmers knowledge and ideas at the scheme. Mpofu also said it was important to carry out timely demonstrations and to disseminate agriculture information timely using different extension methods such as farmer groups, farmer field schools, Whatsapp groups, farmer field schools , field days and demonstration plots.

Mpofu said that it is important to know the strengths and weaknesses of farmers so that an extension officer can build on the farmers strengths and assist farmers overcome their weaknesses. Over the years, she learnt that it was important to religiously follow work requirements such as report writing, attend meetings, hold field days and seed fairs, she said. As an officer she kept an open mind and was always willing to learn from her principals, fellow officers as well as other farmers in more successful schemes.

Besides facilitating the successful cropping activities within the scheme, Mpofu has also assisted farmers to carry out poultry, horticulture, goats and beekeeping projects in the greater scheme area. These have contributed to both food security as well as bringing in income that farmers have used to purchase assets, pay school fees and access medical treatment.

Author: Precious Nkomo

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