COVID-19: Small scale farmers laments transport crisis

By Faith Katete

Small scale farmers have expressed concern over inadequate transport to fury their horticultural products to respective market places in the Capital. This follows Government’s measures to curb COVID-19 pandemic by intensifying national lockdown period extensions.

For the small scale farmers in periphery urban areas, Zimbabwe United Passenger Company(ZUPCO) which has remained operational during National Lockdown Period is inadequate to fury their fresh products.

Spotlight Online News Africa, news crew caught up with few individual farmers who expressed disgruntlement on how the current lockdown period continues to affect their operations.

“We have nowhere to sell our produce as there is no transport to go to Harare as a result we are failing to get ends meet for we rely mainly on farming,”says Catherine Moyo, Chihota based Farmer.

Anesu Truzumbah, a Nyabira based Horticultural Farmer said she has been unable to fury her farm fresh products to market places since the intensification of lockdown period. At times she would resorts to partner with others in finding transport.

” When the lockdown started most of my crops were ready for market but suffered a loss from our failure to transport the products to market places. Nowadays we have been finding transport from colleagues with vehicles, ” she said.

A little while ago the government classified farmers as part of COVID-19 essential sector, this how ever saw their majority failing to make ends meet due to inadequate transport.

In an interview with Mr Tafadzwa Goliat President of Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) said the Government should mitigate the crisis by allowing other transport players to come on board.

“Government should put into consideration the need to revoke Zupco monopoly and allow other players to provide passenger conveyancing services given prevailing public transport crisis”.

He urged farmers to seek letters from their nearest District Administration Offices and traditional leaders to safely travel with the passenger company.

“Farmers should get a letter from the nearest District Administrator ,Chief or Headman inorder for them to travel safely,we are going to tell ZUPCO that farmers in Chihota needs more buses.”

Tendai Guvamombe
the authorTendai Guvamombe