Those who can, teach

Young farmer Ruramiso Mashumba is spearheading change in Zimbabwe.


Ruramiso is somewhat of a rarity in Zimbabwe: she’s young, female and a farm owner.

“Very few women actually own land,” she says. “Even though agriculture is so rewarding and there are lots of opportunities to develop the sector in Zimbabwe.”

One thing she wants to pass on to farmers in the region is her knowledge of Conservation Agriculture (CA): a sustainable way of farming that makes irrigation systems more efficient and minimises soil disturbance.

“I’m really keen to share my ideas with others and encourage knowledge transfer: I think these kinds of exchanges are incredibly important.”

As part of this approach she trains women in numerous CA techniques, including the use of ground cover and crop rotation to prevent the build-up of weeds.

“I believe the future of agriculture lays in the hands of those that are given custody of the land and are responsible for treating it in a way that future generations will benefit from,” she says.

When it comes to COVID-19, she says the pandemic has exposed a lot of vulnerabilities in rural communities. She thinks that these hard times have made people view essential workers differently.

“All of a sudden people realise that food doesn’t just appear in shops: so many work tirelessly to make that food available.”

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