Farmers prepare over 3,4 million Pfumvudza plots

Charles Chipende, Miraculous Nyadzo (centre) and their daughter Millicent plant maize on their Pfumvudza/Intwasa plot in Mvuma last week.

Farmers have so far prepared over 3,4 million Pfumvudza/Intwasa plots countrywide to ensure that they grow enough food for their families and create surpluses which will ensure Zimbabwe remains food secure.

Pfumvudza was introduced by the Second Republic to address problems emanating from low productivity facing the country’s agricultural system. It is based around intensive small-scale conservation farming, and that so long as the right varieties of the right crops are planted will cope with the prevailing and expected weather in each area.

Farmers are on the ground finalising their land preparation as they wait for the rains to start planting.

Maize farmers have so far established over 2,4 million plots on over 150 000ha with sorghum and pearl millet, farmers establishing around 572 000 plots on 38 000ha.

Over 239 000 plots on 16 000ha have so far been prepared for groundnuts and soyabean, 123 000 plots on 8 000ha for cowpeas and sugar beans, and 111 000 plots on 7 000ha for sunflower, now the principle oil seed.

The report from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development shows Manicaland is so far leading with over 1,1 million plots followed by Mashonaland Central with nearly 681 000 plots and Mashonaland East with around 635 000 plots.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary Professor Obert Jiri recently encouraged farmers to embrace Pfumvudza/Intwasa techniques to enhance resilience to climatic shocks and also urging rural farmers to speed up digging of Pfumvudza holes to ensure that they take up three plots and above.

“We are targeting 500 000 beneficiaries in towns and 3 million in rural areas.

“If we do that 9,5 million plots we have around 400 000 hectares of Pfumvudza leading to food security. So we are saying those three million in rural areas should be given inputs after completing three plots so that the nation becomes food self-sufficient. We want farmers to increase on Pfumvudza planting holes,’’ he said.

National food self-sufficiency requires farmers to produce more than twice as much food as they need for their own households, so they can sell the surpluses and to feed the non-farming and largely urban population.

In line with the Government’s policy of climate proofing agriculture Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Dr Shadreck Makombe urged farmers to adopt conservation farming techniques that optimise land use and improve resilience to climate change.

He urged farmers to adequately prepare for the next season adding that farmers should stagger planting in case of any eventualities.

“Farmers should not plant their crops at the same time, Pfumvudza is essential to ensure food security and boost household incomes by selling the surplus. Pfumvudza is the only way to go in terms of ensuring food security and sustainability,’’ he said.

Recently farmers who were interviewed by The Herald indicate that they were grateful for the support of inputs under the Presidential Input Scheme spearheaded by the Government to ensure that they get enough to feed their families and sell the surplus.

Mrs Theresa Mandere of Banket thanked the Government for timeous distribution of Pfumvudza inputs adding that this has benefited vulnerable groups who struggled to make ends meet.

“We are grateful for this noble initiative which will go a long way in sustaining families. Government has rescued many households. We are grateful for this support. Getting inputs on time will mean a good harvest ahead of us,” she said.

Mrs Clara Mawire said she is grateful to receive inputs on time adding that she is hoping to increase hectares so as to achieve a bumper harvest the following season.

Mr Farai Chamunorwa of Banket said Government’s commitment needs to be appreciated as it symbolises great hope in the next season.

“This is a commendable effort made by the Government. We are likely to achieve a bumper harvest in the following season since we get our inputs on time,” he said.

On January 25 this year in Dakar Senegal, President Mnangagwa boldly declared that the country had since turned the corner in its agricultural revolution strides with the Second Republic having attained food self-sufficiency through Pfumvudza concept.

Herald

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