For many years, cotton farmers and other communal farmers have suffered at the hands of farming contractors who give them loans in the form farming inputs and implements. After harvesting, the contractors buy the products at prices that they determine and theses are usually so low. The contractors, at the same time, make deductions to recoup the input loans given earlier, leaving the farmer with virtually nothing to take home. One cotton farmer in Chakari said, “For 12 years I have been growing cotton yet I have no evidence to show for my sweat. I am still very poor and almost live a life of begging.”
In response to the above ABDO has mobilised farmers to form Farmers’ Movements in Gokwe North, Chivi, Matobo, Chegutu and Sanyati Districts. Among other things, Farmers’ movements help farmers to:
Come together to share farming information, knowledge and skills
Mobilize each other to form associations for better recognition and collective bargaining and understand the nature of contract farming.
Engage in collective Farming Inputs acquisition and marketing of farming produce
Liberate themselves as farmers from the jaws of contract farming
Be capacitated to view and practice farming as a business.
ABDO’s role is to bring buyers and farmers together to dialogue for fair pricing of goods and trade.