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Farmer does wonders
Freedom Mupanedemo

Farmer does wonders on 5ha plot
When the land reform programme started in 2000, Mr Reuben Manhondo (44) of Gweru was among the doubting Thomases.

He adopted a wait-and-see attitude as thousands of landless Zimbabweans demanded and got land from the minority white farmers, who held prime farming land.

As the craving for land reached a crescendo, Mr Manhondo felt the need to join the masses, but he failed to get a bigger piece of land. He was given five hectares along the Gweru-Mvuma Road.

But Mr Manhondo is doing wonders at the plot after he went into goat and sheep rearing.
He is proving to be one of the best dorper sheep and boar goat breeders in Zimbabwe and is attracting the international market.

“After realising that the piece of land I got was very small with limited options, I thought of my own type of farming, totally divorced from the surrounding farms and chose to do goats and sheep,” said Mr Manhondo.

He conducted a research that took him to a farm in South Africa.

“I decided to travel to South Africa and went to a farm where they are breeding boar and Kalahari red goats, as well as dorper sheep,” said Mr Manhondo.

“I was welcomed there and spent some weeks at the farm while learning how to breed these types of goats and sheep before I decided to take up the challenge.”

Today, Mr Manhondo is one of the best boar and Kalahari red goats breeders in Zimbabwe.

On his five hectare piece of land, he now has over 100 Kalahari red and boar goats, as well as dorper sheep.

His small farm is being frequented by goat and sheep breeders either to buy the products or to tap into his expertise.

“I am being overwhelmed,” said Mr Manhondo.

“Everyday I receive a call from either a client intending to buy goats or sheep or to learn one or two things.

“I am still small and cannot sustain the market. I will end up selling even my breeding stock if I fail to resist some of the offers I get here for my sheep.”

Manhondo sells an eight-months-old Kalahari red goat for $500, while the dorper sheep sells at between $300 and $400.

“I am failing to go beyond a 100 head because I am being overwhelmed by demand, but from the method of breeding I learnt in South Africa, I can breed up to a 300 head on this small piece of land,” he said.

“In South Africa, they have resources and they use a paddock system and grow feeds for themselves. I am doing it here, but my piece of land is too small for me to grow enough stock for myself so as to avoid buying supplementary feeds.”

Farmer does wonders

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