More farmers join Pfumvudza/Intwasa in Mashonaland Central The Government has urged traditional leaders to prepare a minimum of three plots under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme as their fields will serve as learning centres for other farmers to support the climate-proofed programme.

Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau

Land preparation for the Pfumvudza/Intwasa farming season is progressing well with 35 000 urban farmers set to benefit from the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

Agronomist, Mr Cain Loki said this year they have targeted 1 467 283 Pfumvudza/Intwasa plots.

“Out of the total number of plots, 830 500 will be of maize, 269 503 sorghum, 79 371 pearl millet,” he said.

“Groundnuts will have 45 500 plots, sunflower 44 118, soyabeans 135 000 and sugar beans 63 291.”

So far, 7 802 tonnes of Pfumvudza basal fertiliser has been delivered in the province out of the provincial target of 21 570.

“We have managed to distribute 6 063 tonnes of basal fertiliser, 1 049 of maize seed, 639 top dressing, and 119 sorghum seed. Farmers who have gathered mulching total 58 771 and 63 969 hectares have been prepared,” he said.

“The Pfumvudza/Intwasa planted area has gradually increased from 13, 308 hectares in 2021, in 2022 it was 29, 771 hectares and 63 969 hectares this year.

“This is because the prepared area, mulching, and manure are used year after year increasing the yield per hectare,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mashonaland Central’s bumper wheat harvest of 83 971 tonnes has been attributed to the Government’s concerted support to Agritex extension staff and farmers.

The province surpassed last year’s yield of below five tonnes per hectare to this year’s 5, 3 tonnes per hectare due to minimum power outages.

Mr Loki said farmers also adhered to good agronomic practices.

“Pre-planning meetings were done timeously by extension staff who also intensified monitoring and advisory,” he said.

“Several planting demonstrations were done and intensified quelea bird control also contributed to improved yield.”

Mr Loki said wheat farmers are now wrapping up their harvest as the rainy season beckons.

The province had 16 067 hectares under winter wheat crop.

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