Monday, 18 November 2013

TIPS FOR THE NEW FARMER

THE GUIDELINE FOR THE ZIMBABWEAN NEW FARMER


I have been visiting the newly resettled farmer and I have observed that they are facing challenges. These challenges they face are almost identical for all farmers. I have summarized and grouped these into the following five categories.

KNOW YOUR LAND AND YOUR CROP
I have observed that the new farmer lack the knowledge of his land and the crop to grow on it. The farmer is growing the crop that he wants to grow, instead of growing the right crop for the soil and climate.
The farmer should consult the local agricultural extension officer, their neighbours or even the previous farm workers on the history of the farmer. The new farmer do no need to reinvent the wheel when it come to the crop, soil and labor as these are available. Most of the successful farmers I have met have inherited workers from the previous white farmers. These farmers have inherited invaluable experience and skills.

RECORD KEEPING
I am amazed most of the time I ask a farmer to produce his wages book or how much he paid for his or her input him or her always most of the time fail to produce the records. I have always wondered how a farmer can plan without records of previous activities such as wages, inputs or even weather.

These are basic records every farmer should have;
1. Time book
2. Wages book
3. Input book (Purchases by the farmer are recorded here)
4. Files for invoices
5. Sales book (everything the farmer sells must be recorded)
The above records will enable a bookkeeper to draw accounts of the farm. It is also important to note that the records will assist the farmer to draw up statutory returns.





SAFETY AND SECURITY
I have walked into farmhouses where the security is so lax that you could load the furniture and drive away without any problem at all. The farm security should be at the heart of all farming activities but it is relegated to the peripheral by the new farmer.
Here are basics of farm security;
1. Guards
2. Perimeter fence
3. Alarms
4. Fireguards on the perimeter

COMMUNICATIONS
It is very difficult to communicate with a new farmer especially where the wireless networks have not set up their boosters. The new farmer should set up a postal box or apply for landline.
The new farmer must also approach the local authority through the local councilor to improve the road network.

STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW FARMER
Farming is a commercial activities and every farmer is an employer. Every employer has some obligations to his or her employees and to the Government of Zimbabwe.
Here are the farmers’ statutory obligations;
1.       Pay As You Earn(Zimra)
2.        National Employment Council Levy
3.       Standards Development Fund levy
4.       National Social Security Authority
5.       Manpower Development Fund levy.

The above has been compiled to assist new farmers and for further assistance please contact the writer on mobile +263773037230 or visit www.edmorembuzanamlambo.blogspot.com or follow me on www.facebook.com/edmore.mbuzanamlambo or email me embuzana@gmail.com.

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