Amos Chitungo Honde Valley Dairy Farmer

  • Amos Chitungo grew up and lives in Honde Valley near Hauna in Mutasa, Manicaland, Eastern Highlands:
  • It enjoys hot, wet weather with heaviest rains in February. Vegetation grows fast and remains green due to humid, warm conditions for the majority of the year.
  • Farming in this climate favours cash crops with cattle farming peripheral only and in the higher parts of the Valley.
  • About 20% of families living here maintain a small herd of around 5 cattle per family.
  • Moving round the country as a school teacher and community development agent, Amos noted the comparative agricultural advantage Honde Valley enjoys over other parts of rural Zimbabwe:

  • Primarily, the availability of water sources year round, that can be gravitated to nearly every homestead from the surrounding mountains, plus fertile soils hot weather and good rainfall.
  • Animal husbandry has not been so successful – due to heavy rainfall and unsuitable pastures that do not support most breeds of cattle, goats and sheep well.
  • Those farmers who succeed to a degree, incur high costs of vaccination and treatment.
  • Over the years, Amos ventured into beef farming.  At one point his herd was 40 strong – record for the area – but this proved sub – economic.
  • So – after this expensive lesson, he disposed of his herd – and instead went into dairy farming in 2011 – an excellent decision