A small-scale farmer from Murewa last week commended Agribank for its commitment to promoting farming activities in the rural areas after the bank paid him $500 for  landing the Best Farmer of the Year award at the Mashonaland East Provincial Agricultural Show held in Marondera recently.

In an interview with The Herald after receiving his prize, Mr Kingston Mungati, who struggled to conceal his happiness, applauded the bank for the support saying he had been motivated by the gesture.

“I want to commend Agribank for this gesture, I am humbled, I want to thank Agribank for being there for us small-scale farmers, I hope we will see more of this support in the future,” Mr Mungati said.

“I worked hard to be here but I am not the only farmer in the province who worked hard. However, I made it to the top and today our bank has recognised my hard work. It is indeed motivating and I am grateful,” he said.

Mr Mungati, who also rears chickens, called on Government to recognise small-scale farmers with potential and give them more land.

“My wish as a farmer is to have more land, I appeal to the new dispensation to recognise those with potential but limited resources, to be given more land to do large-scale commercial farming.

“Land is what we want and we pray that soon the Government will hear our plight,” he said.

He said his other wish was to join Command Agriculture. Agribank Harare-Mashonaland provincial manager Mr Washington Masocha applauded Mr Mungate for taking farming seriously and urged other farmers present to emulate him.

He said small-scale farmers should take farming as a business.

“Let me commend Mr Mungate for taking farming activities seriously. Let me also urge all of you here to consider farming as a business.

“This country’s economic growth is hinged on agriculture, so I call on all stakeholders to play a part in building the agriculture sector,” Mr Masocha said.

He urged farmers to visit Agribank branches with their proposals saying the bank was willing to finance  them.

“To those who want to venture into agriculture, visit us with your bankable proposals and we will finance them.

“Our mandate as a bank is to oversee agriculture development,” he   said.