Pfumvudza plots under irrigation intensified

THE Government is stepping up Pfumvudza/Intwasa under irrigation as part of comprehensive measures to ensure food security at household and national levels in the wake of the devastating effects of climate change, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka has said.

He was speaking during a tour of Mashonaland East Province to have an appreciation of this season’s cropping progress as well as meeting Pfumvudza and commercial farmers from Goromonzi and Murehwa districts.

Dr Masuka was accompanied during the tour by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East Aplonia Munzverengwi, acting director Agritex Mr Leanard Munamati and other senior Government officials.

“As a country, we must adapt to climate change and we adapt at two levels. Firstly, we adapt at a smallholder household level in communal areas where we have 3 million beneficiaries; that is 1,8 million households in rural Zimbabwe.

“So, we adopted what we call sustainable intensive conservation agriculture, that is Pfumvudza/Intwasa and this has ensured and assured that these households have something to eat without going to social welfare. Pfumvudza/Intwasa is precision farming at its best, at a micro level.”

Dr Masuka said at national level, there was a need to ensure food security through expanded irrigation. Presently, there is a national target of 350 000 hectares of new irrigation.

“We are currently at 203 000 ha under irrigation throughout the country for established irrigation. We are still way behind in terms of climate-proofing agriculture through irrigation.

“But we now have an irrigation development alliance, which is a consortium of public and private sector companies that have come together to say ‘how do we ensure that the 350 000 ha are done?’

“We are now putting together a structure where we are going to have Government guaranteed facilities for farmers to have access to additional irrigation,” he said.

The Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa is constructing dams across the country to ensure availability of water for irrigation.

Some of the dams that have been completed and are already supporting irrigation include Chivhu, Marovanyati and Muchekeranwa dams.

The mammoth the Lake Gwayi-Shangani is still under construction, with 40 metres of the targeted 72 metres already completed.

Dr Masuka challenged village heads to work hard and mobilise more households to join the successful conservation agriculture programme.

He said it was President Mnangagwa’s wish to see every household being food secure.

Minister Munzverengwi encouraged communal farmers to prepare more Pfumvudza plots to guarantee more yields even during the 2023/2024 season where normal to below rainfall has been forecast.

“We thank President Mnangagwa for ensuring that Pfumvudza inputs were availed on time. This has enabled most households to plant well in time. This province is agro-based and we even have one of our farmers who scooped the best prize on Pfumvudza, nationally.

“I want to encourage more households to embrace this programme. To those who have joined, I appeal to you to prepare more plots,” said Minister Munzverengwi.

Herald

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