By Lynette Simango
Production doesn’t mean productivity. The reason why we have so many maize growers in Zimbabwe yet the country is struggling to produce enough maize to meet it’s requirement is on productiveness. What does productivity means? It means you are producing efficiently and mostly it’s all about how much output you get per single input injected. We might talk of inputs as in fertilizers, seed, agrochemicals etc, with some arguing that the reason they are not productive is because they lack inputs, but has anyone ever looked into labor as the major ‘input’ setting us back in terms of productiveness 🤔. Yes, sometimes the rains fail us but for the sake of this discussion let’s assume the rains have been on our side, what would make any worker less productive that will in turn have adverse effects on yields? What most employees do not know that most employers are aware of yet ignorant is that they have the right to food, showers/toilets and protective clothing (gumboots, worksuits etc). A hungry body will always struggle to maintain the correct inrow spacing for example, because it’s focus will be on finishing the task rather than doing the right thing. Besides it’s not their farms- all they need is some money. What the farmer will produce 3 months after planting is non of their business. Imagine working on a muddy field with no gumboots, who will be to blame if the crop fails to emerge? At one point I overheard a farmer saying there shall come a time they will pay workers after harvesting because the farmer felt like these guys were not doing a good job when it came to ploughing, planting, applying fertilizers etc. How do you expect someone to perform well when there are hungry, wearing uncomfortable clothing and each time they want to visit the bathroom you feel like they are misplacing their priorities.
A happy worker will always work to the best of their ability and the results are phenomenal. Let’s try it out with our workers and see how different will the yields be this time- assuming the rains will be in our favor😉