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Fields of dreams bring hope of farming success

By Zhu Lixin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-04-14 07:12:02

The Hunyani Farm, which is part of the project, is now the main agricultural teaching and practice base for the Chinhoyi University of Technology. The farm has helped the university make several advances in agricultural research.

"Improved application of proper agro-concepts has helped boost yields at the Hunyani Farm," Freedom Tsodzai, the deputy general manager of Wanjin, said in a recent interview with The Herald, a Zimbabwean news portal.

"The Wanjin project is a good role model for Zimbabwe's agriculture sector," says David Jambgwa Simbi, the vice-chancellor of CUT.

Dong Ruping, the head of the Hunyani Farm, however, says that electricity and irrigation are major concerns during dry seasons.

Dong, who was the manager of a State-owned farm in China before coming to Zimbabwe in 2012, says well-timed irrigation is necessary for the healthy growth of crops. In a lighter vein, he says that his challenge is to keep the crops away from the birds, baboons, monkeys and ants.

"China was once an agriculture-dominant country with backward production techniques. But it has now become highly modernized. We want Zimbabwe to achieve the same advances," Dong says.

"Zimbabwe is a beautiful country with a truly pleasant environment. We don't want to do any harm to the environment. So our focus is to use very little or even no chemical fertilizers at all," says Cheng from APSFG, who recommends the use of organic fertilizers.

Dong says that because the leases on most of the agricultural land run for as long as 99 years, it is important for the custodians to take proper care of them and the surrounding environment.

"Only through sustainability can we hope for long-term profits," he says.

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