Agriculture YOUTH DESK

Agriculture YOUTH DESK Agriculture Youth Desk is meant to promote Food Security and Nutrition in Zimbabwe,Africa and the world as a whole through gender and youth mainstreaming.

Operating as usual

Good morning .Be advised that FAO in partnership with various Government Ministries such Ministry responsible for Agricu...

Good morning .Be advised that FAO in partnership with various Government Ministries such Ministry responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Youth , Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education , Energy among others is implimenting a green jobs for rural employment program commonly known as GJ4RYE whose thrust is to support young people and mainstream them in the mainstream economy .SDGs among it's objectives are to alleviate poverty ,end hunger ,improve health and well being , promote gender equality ,working towards water and sanitation for communities , promote clean energy, create jobs ,reduce consumption only to mention a few .

Few provinces and sites have been selected as hubs and learning bases where youths between the ages of 18-35 will be selected and funded so that they start their own life and support communities through various ways.

Say Yes if the you are in support of SDGs

Mechanisation of the Agricultural sector.For the past 37 years Government of Zimbabwe sourced 6000 tractors and within 1...

Mechanisation of the Agricultural sector.For the past 37 years Government of Zimbabwe sourced 6000 tractors and within 12 months the New Dispensation led by His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa sourced 3000 tractors.


Ready for the season

Ready for the season

Field Tour ,Melfort farm being leased to a young farmer by NRZ

Field Tour ,Melfort farm being leased to a young farmer by NRZ

BROILER FOWL-RUN DESIGN• Follow East to West orientation• Eastern and western sides built to the roof to prevent direct ...


• Follow East to West orientation
• Eastern and western sides built to the roof to prevent direct sunlight into house
• 50cm brick wall on length side of house for maximum ventilation and shielding
• Fix 9mm diamond mersh wire from brick wall to the roof
• Height of at least 2.6m on the higher side of a flat-roofed house
• 50cm roof overlap
• All brick surfaces should be plastered for ease of cleaning
• Concrete floors for stability
• Size of house to be appropriate for the number of chicks
• Final stocking density of 10 to 12 birds per square metre..

mushroom farming business can give  big profits in just a few weeks. Plus, starting your own business growing oyster mus...

mushroom farming business can give big profits in just a few weeks. Plus, starting your own business growing oyster mushrooms for profit is fairly easy.

In fact, here’s how to get started in just six easy steps

Should we share few notes on where seed is aquired ,inputs needed and how production is done?

FactsFertilisers provide elements needed by plants to grow well, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They can ma...


Fertilisers provide elements needed by plants to grow well, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They can make crops grow faster and bigger so that yields are increased. The compounds used must be water-soluble so plants can absorb them through their roots.

Like our post, share and say Yes if you want more literature on Fertilisers:

Fact:Farmers played their part , Government has played it's part, now ready for the rains.2020/2021 farming season setti...


Farmers played their part , Government has played it's part, now ready for the rains.

2020/2021 farming season settings

Are you also ready ?

Afrostain Farmtech

Afrostain Farmtech

Frequently Asked Questions about the Queen of Temites

Who leads these tiny homewreckers in their charge to claim every ounce of wood they can? Termite queens.

Q: What are termite queens?

A: The queen controls the colony size, makeup and division of labor of a termite colony. She is also the primary egg layer in termite colonies.

Q: Is the queen the only egg layer?

A: Queen termites can actually suppress the development of other queens with pheromones that are always associated with their presence.

When the colony gets larger, she may need to allow a small number of the termite nymphs to develop as supplemental or secondary queens. This will help provide sufficient eggs for the colony to continue to grow.

Q: What is the egg-laying process like?

A: The queen termite's abdomen enlarges as she begins laying eggs. Her abdomen eventually expands many times beyond her prenuptial size to the point that she becomes much less mobile and must be cared for.

She becomes an egg-laying machine and becomes physically dependent on the worker termites for her care and feeding.

Q: If queens don't move much, how do termite colonies spread?

A: After three to five years, the queen may decide to allow many of the nymphs to develop into alates (winged reproductive adult termites) who will swarm out of the nest to try to start a new colony.

Several hundred to several thousand will swarm from the nest, but most will not succeed.

After the swarming, a male and a female worker will pair up and the soon-to-be termite queen will look for a place to make a nest.

The new nest site must provide near-perfect conditions for the new termite queen and king to survive. This is very unlikely in a properly maintained home.

Q: How do I stop termite queens?

A: The first step is understanding termite behavior and knowing how to keep an eye out for termites and/or termite damage.

Effective termite control is best left to trained specialists. Termites are complicated creatures, sometimes with several colonies and nests in multiple locations on a single property.

Trained specialists will bring the most up-to-date training and tools to the battle against termite queens and their colonies.

[email protected]
[email protected]

The 7 tried and tested livestock farming business ideas for the Zimbabwean market.
The 7 tried and tested livestock farming business ideas for the Zimbabwean market. - Afrostain Farmtech

The 7 tried and tested livestock farming business ideas for the Zimbabwean market.

CATTLE FARMING When we mention about livestock farming this is most likely the one to come to mind first. Well, it is a commonly practised farming initiative all across Zimbabwe – at least now. Cattle farming was for a while hanging in the balance due to an array of challenges. The most noteworthy...

Food Security remains the Government's priority.It's pleasing to note that Youth have embraced Agriculture and from next...

Food Security remains the Government's priority.

It's pleasing to note that Youth have embraced Agriculture and from next week we are profiling productive young farmers.

Answer with Yes and like our story if you are among the progressive young farmers and tell us where you are doing your work

Do you know that this plant has some health benefits .Before we share with you our knowledge and expertise concerning th...

Do you know that this plant has some health benefits .

Before we share with you our knowledge and expertise concerning the used of this plant , we are kindly requesting you to share with the public your researched and indegenous knowledge on it.

Good rains expected this year .Are you ready for the 2020/2021 farming season

Good rains expected this year .Are you ready for the 2020/2021 farming season

Facts:We can't separate Food Security from Nutrition Security.Today let's discuss and share notes on Nutrition Security....


We can't separate Food Security from Nutrition Security.Today let's discuss and share notes on Nutrition Security.

Are you ready for the subject today , if so press like and respond with a Yes or No

GUIDE TO GROWING LEAFY SPINACH Spinach is a nutritious, hardy cool weather crop, grown for use as a cooked green vegetab...


Spinach is a nutritious, hardy cool weather crop, grown for use as a cooked green vegetable or as salad. There are two main types of spinach, that is, smooth leaf and savoy (crinkled leaf).

✔ Soil fertility :

It is always important to test the soil nutrient level before planting as the pH should be maintained at 6.5 to 6.8. Soils with low pH will result in slow growth and chlorotic leaves. Because of sensitivity to magnesium deficiency, older spinach leaves may tend to show yellow colour similar to that caused by nitrogen deficiency or downy mildew. Do not automatically apply more nitrogen to try to develop the desired deep green colour. Spinach will accumulate excess nitrates if nitrogen is used in an attempt to induce green colour and this is dangerous to health.

✔ Ecological requirements
Spinach is a cool weather vegetable and can survive the first frost of temperate climates. It germinates and grows optimally at temperatures between 4-16°C. However, it can withstand temperatures as low as -7C. Spinach grows best in a well-draining loamy soil with an optimum pH of between 6.4 and 7. It is sensitive to acidic soil and if the pH is too high. Although it prefers full sun, spinach can still produce significantly in partial shade. In hot weather, seeds germinate slowly or may fail to germinate completely. Heat also causes the plants to bolt (go to seed) quickly, ruining the flavour of the crop.

✔ Planting and cultural practices

Propagation of spinach is solely by seeds. It is first raised in a nursery before transplanting into the main field.
Nursery establishment
Prepare the nursery bed, a metre-wide against the required length. Drill seeds across the bed at a depth of about 1cm, cover seeds lightly with soil and the nursery bed with a thin layer of dry grass (mulch). Water the nursery bed and seeds germinate within 5-7 days. Seedlings should be watered regularly.

Seedlings are ready for transplanting after 4-5 weeks, when with 3-4 leaves. This, however, depends on the ecological factors in the region, like temperature. Transplanting should be done on a cloudy day or late in the evening when the sun is cool. Note: Wet seedlings an hour before uprooting them from the nursery. This prevents root damages. To prevent transplanting shock, water can be sprayed to the transplants.


Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Plough the land 2-3 weeks in advance at a depth of at least 20cm and harrow the field. Prepare raised beds, recommended for proper drainage and root establishment depending on the amount of rainfall available.
However, in dry areas like Makueni, you can make a flat or sunken bed because of rain limitation. The beds should be 15cm high, a metre wide and about 100 metres long. Incorporate soil with manure and DAP. Water the beds, unless the soil is wet enough.
Plant the seedlings in the beds. This should be done at the same depth they were previously growing while in the nursery. They should be spaced at 30cm to 45cm between rows and 15cm between the plants. This gives room for the leaves to reach full size.

✔ Thinning

When seedlings sprout to about 10 to 12cm, they should be thinned 8cm apart. This helps in reducing competition as well as ensuring sufficient air circulation within the crops.

✔ Weeding
Weeds compete with the crop for growth factors like nutrients as well as they harbour pests. They should, therefore, be controlled. Since spinach roots are shallow and easily damaged, care must be taken when weeding.

✔ Mulching
This helps to keep the soil moist and to suppress weeds. Decomposed mulch releases nutrients into the soil, which are absorbed by the crop. It also helps prevent soil erosion.

✔ Irrigation
Watering should be done regularly because spinach requires high levels of moisture.

✔ Nutrition
Spinach requires sufficient nutrients for proper growth and development. It is, therefore, important to ensure that these nutrients are made available and in the needed quantities. For instance; for basal fertilisers like DAP, put a table spoon per hole and mix with soil at transplanting.

For CAN, put a tea spoonful and is banded around the plant as top-dressing at three weeks after transplant. NPK, are also be applied after the third harvesting to generate more leaves.

✔Crop rotation:
Spinach should not be planted on the same plot over and over, because this causes pests and diseases to build up in the soil. Rotations should be done with other crops like beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes and potatoes.

✔Pests and control

Cutworms and wireworms:
Cutworms cut off the stems of young seedlings at ground level while wireworms feed on the foliage and roots. Drench soil with PENTAGON 50EC 20ml/20l or PROFILE 440EC 60ml/20l or alternative available in agrovets.

These are small soft bodied insects found on the underside of leaves and/or stems of plant; usually green or yellow in colour. Infestation causes yellowing and distortion of leaves, formation of necrotic spots and stunted shoots. Aphids secrete a sticky, sugary substance (honeydew) which encourages the growth of sooty mold on the plants. Spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20l or LEXUS 247SC 8ml/20l or LOYALTY 700WDG 5g/20l or available alternative.

✔Spinach crown mite:
These mites live deep in the crown of the spinach plant. Their feeding causes deformation of leaves and small holes form in newly expanding leaves. Damage can be to newly emerged seedlings or to older plants. Spray ALONZE 50EC 5ml/20l or BAZOOKA 18EC 10ml/20L or available alternative.

✔Slugs and snails:
They leave relatively large holes in spinach leaves. Slimy trails are evident. Drench soil with PROFILE 440EC 6oml/20l

✔Leaf miners:
These leave meandering tan trails or mines on the leaves as they feed. Heavily infested leaves curl and become distorted. Spray ESCORT 19EC 10ml/20l or any available pesticide recommended by agro vet.

✔Flea beetles:
These feed mostly on young foliage and the damage consists of a number of small holes, leaving the leaf looking as though it had been hit by a blast. The leaves sometimes have bleached and pitted areas. Spray LEXUS 247SC 8ml/20l or KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20l or PRESENTO 200SP 5g/20l
✔Cabbage loopers:
These caterpillars are pale green with white lines running down either side of their body. Feeding leads to formation of large or small holes on leaves and the damage is often extensive. Spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20l or BACIGUARD 16WDG or LEXUS 247SC 8ml/20l

Feeding causes singular, or closely grouped circular to irregularly shaped holes on foliage. Heavy feeding by young larvae leads to skeletonised leaves, and egg clusters may be present on the leaves, which are covered in a whitish scale giving them a cottony or fuzzy appearance. Spray KINGCODE ELITE 50EC 10ml/20l or LEXUS 247SC 8ml/20l or PENTAGON 50EC 10ml/20l or BACIGUARD 16WDG 15g/20l


✔Damping off and root rot:
Symptoms consist of poor seed germination, pre-emergence death of seedlings, post-emergence death of newly emerged seedlings, stunted plants, yellowed lower leaves, general poor growth, wilting, and eventual collapse and death of older plants. Roots of the infected plants appear water-soaked or brown to black in colour.

The upper taproot may be girdled by a necrotic lesion, and the tip of the taproot may be necrotic. In severe cases of infection, nearly all roots become girdled or rot off. While all stages of spinach can be infected by root rot organisms, newly emerging plants and young seedlings are very susceptible. Seek advice from agrovet for effective fungicide fungal diseases.

✔ Leaf spot:
Infection leads to development of small dark spots on the leaves. These enlarge forming brown lesions, which become brittle and eventually crack at the centre. The lesions can also develop on petioles and stems. Spray CHARIOT 500s 20ml/20l or RANSOM 600WP 15g/20l or BRADLEY 500SC 10ml/20l, however you will be advised on best alternative available

✔ Downy mildew:
Initially dull to bright yellow spots form on cotyledons and leaves of all stages. These spots enlarge and become browning and dry. Close inspection of the underside of the leaf often reveals the purple growth of the fungus. In severe cases of infection, leaves appear curled and distorted and may take on a blighted effect as a result of numerous infection sites.
Remember, every environment has specific challenges that require extra attention.

Egerton University

Tomato Farming Level #Guru

Tomato Farming Level #Guru


In greenhouse production, the productivity metrics changes from yield per unit area to yield per plant. Its now high value; of inputs, outputs and returns.

Do you agree 🤑🤑

Majority of farmers are building legacies with effective land use, book your appointment with us to hear your story
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Conservation Agriculture implemented under the bana Pfumvudza is meant to ensure Zero Hunger as stipulated in the Sustai...

Conservation Agriculture implemented under the bana Pfumvudza is meant to ensure Zero Hunger as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goal Number .

Say Yes if you concur with me that to achieve all SDGs Agriculture and Food Security comes first.

Growing top-quality carrots🥕🥕🥕🥕By the Agriculture Youth Desk.Carrots are important root crops in commercialand home gard...

Growing top-quality carrots🥕🥕🥕🥕

By the Agriculture Youth Desk.

Carrots are important root crops in commercial
and home gardens for vegetable production.

are some pointers for cultivating them.🖥️🖊️📕

Carrots ( Daucus carota) are members of the
Apaceae family and are grown for the edible
root, which can be eaten raw or cooked.

They are rich in carotene (vitamin A). Carrots grow
well in cool conditions, as long as there is
enough moisture, and they are fairly resistant to cold and frost.


Carrots need deep, well-drained sandy loam to sandy soil, and the texture is very important
because it affects how smooth and well-shaped
the roots will be.

Avoid heavy, compact soil which will discourage growth. Soils high in fresh
organic matter can result in hairy, forked and
malformed roots, and stony soil can also produce
poor root shapes. The optimum pH (H20) is
between 6,0 and 6,5.


Carrots are cool-weather plants, but growth
slows down if the temperature drops below 10ºC. Although not usually sensitive to frost, severe frosty spells can damage the leaves. Roots can be damaged if the soil temperature drops below 0°C, especially if the plants were irrigated the
preceding afternoon.

The temperature and soil moisture influence the
colour, shape and quality of carrots.

Growth is optimal at 18 – 23°C, although some cultivars can withstand a great deal of heat. High
temperatures (above 29°C) affect emergence
and quality negatively, causing poor colour and
thicker centres.


Rotating crops helps to improve the quality of
the soil and keep down soil-borne pests. Carrots
make good crop rotation partners for cabbage,
lettuce, pumpkin and tomatoes.

If rotated with leguminous crops, such as peas and beans, they
improve the soil’s nutrient levels.


Try these varieties:
Kuroda, which offers an excellent yield and has a
good shape. It’s 11 – 15cm long and has a thin
kernel. Can be produced in warmer seasons.
Cape Market is cylindrical, 12 – 17cm long and
produced in warmer seasons.

Scarlet Nantes, Flacoro, Fancy and Duke are
good choices for autumn planting.

Ensure there is enough space between the
carrots so they con’t get over crowded.PREPARING


Loosen the soil thoroughly by ploughing (or using a fork, hand hoe or spade) to a depth of 300 –400mm to allow for good root aeration, root
penetration and drainage. Crush all clods with a
rake or cultivator to obtain a deep, fine tilth.
Remove stones because they can cause poorly
shaped carrots. It would be even better to build
and prepare a raised bed. Remove all weeds
before sowing because carrot seedlings are very
fine and cannot compete with weeds.


Allow 25 – 35cm between rows. Thin out at one to two weeks after emergence, when the carrot seedlings are about 4cm high, and again one to
two weeks later. This should result in a spacing of 4 – 5cm within the row (80 – 120 roots/m²).

Do not thin out later than four weeks after
emergence. If the crop is not thinned out, the
carrots will be small and malformed. Thinning
should take place in the afternoon, and when soil
is moist.


Broadcast about 1 000kg/ha (100g/m2) of a
fertiliser mixture such as 2:3:4 (30)+Zn or 1
100kg/ha (110g/m2) of 2:3:2 (22)+Zn just before
planting and work it into the top 10cm of soil.
Apply a top dressing of 10g LAN per metre of
row at three weeks and again at six weeks after
emergence. Sprinkle on both sides of the row, 2
– 10cm from the plants (do not sprinkle on the
plants). It would be a good idea to remove all
the weeds before applying LAN in order to avoid their competing with the carrots for fertiliser.

Work into the top 2cm of the soil, using a flat-
tined fork. Water well. In areas known to have a
boron deficiency, apply 10 – 20kg/ha borax after

Do not use manure and compost for carrots,
because they can cause malformation of the
roots and decrease the marketable yield. If
manure needs to be dug in, do so with the crop
preceding carrots (see crop rotation).


Rake the soil surface to a fine-tilth seedbed
before sowing the small carrot seeds directly in
the soil – carrots cannot be transplanted.
Put the seeds in the palm of one hand, take a
substantial pinch with the fingers of the other
hand and rub between finger and thumb as you
move your hand forwards and backwards along shallow (1,5cm deep) furrows, until the desired sowing rate is achieved. Another method is to mix one teaspoon of seed with 10 teaspoons of
sand and then sow it. Seeding requires some
experience and practice.

After sowing, cover seed with fine soil to ensure
better germination. In the warmer months, mulch
the rows with dry grass to keep the soil cool and
moist, as this will assist germination. Remove
the mulch after the seedlings have emerged. (If it is kept on too long, the seedlings will become
Leggy and the sun will burn them easily.)
Emergence may take 7 – 14 days depending on
the cultivar, the weather, soil type and season
important You will need 3 – 4kg seed. For
smaller plots, allow 1g (1 teaspoon) per 2m of


Keep the soil moist after sowing the seeds to
ensure good germination. Water carrots regularly
throughout the growing season, but take care not
to water too much. As a general rule, carrots
need about 30mm of water per week. Water
every five days if the weather is warm and dry.


Start off with a weed-free plot so that the
carrots do not have to compete with them for
nutrients and water. Then weed carrots regularly
to keep them free of weeds. If you see any
weeds appear, remove them immediately. Being
weed-free has a substantial effect on the yield –
and your profits. Be particularly careful to
remove perennial weeds because they can grow
between the roots and will result in poor-quality


Carrots grow for 10 – 12 weeks from emergence
to harvesting, depending on the cultivar and the
temperature. In small gardens, harvest them as
soon as they reach a diameter of 20mm but are still young and tender. Make sure the soil is wet when you harvest carrots, to make them easier to remove, either pulling out by hand or first loosening them carefully with a fork (start 15cm away from the base of the plants) and then pulling them out.

Harvest carrots when they are fully mature as
this increases their shelf-life. Do not harvest
early in the morning if the soil is cold, as this
may cause the roots to crack horizontally. Do not
leave carrots in the sun after harvesting – take
them to a shady place as soon as possible.

To extend the shelf life of carrots cut the leaves
of before storing.


Most horticultural crops are perishable and can
only be stored for a few days. It is best to
harvest carrots as needed for consumption or selling. Remove the leaves before storing, to
extend shelf life.

Fresh carrots, harvested when mature, will keep
for up to five days at room temperature (20°C),
and for 7 – 21 days in a refrigerator.


The following sowing times are recommended for
the different countries.

South Africa
Highveld: August to mid-March.
Middleveld (temperate climate zones ): August to
mid-April. In very warm areas, August to
September and February to March.

Limpopo and Lowveld : February to April and July
to August.
Free State and Northern Cape: August to October
and end of January to March.
Kwazulu-Natal (midlands and coastal region):
August to April.
Eastern Cape: July to April, but NOT in mid-
summer in very warm areas. In very cold areas,
August to April.
Western Cape : August to end of March.


Eastern province, and Sesheke and Shangombo
districts : March to July.
Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt, Northwestern,
and parts of Central Provinces: March to July.
Sandveld plateau of Central, Eastern, Lusaka
and Southern provinces: March to July.

Mashonaland East, Central and West: February
to September.
Mashonaland west(Kadoma) and Midlands
(Kwekwe, Gweru, Gokwe) : February to
Masvingo: February to September
Whole country: whole year
Southern region: February to Septmenber
Gabarone regione : March to September
Central region : March to August
North east region: March to August
Ngamiland region : April to Augist

Disease control recommendations

Rotate crops.
Plant in well-drained soil.
Water early so that leaves can dry before
Do not over-irrigate.
Burn diseased plants.
Fertilise plants well.
Control weeds in and around fields.
Remove all plant residues from the field after

REMEMBER: There are no registered disease-
control chemicals for carrots.



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