Agriculture Reporter

WITH the 2022/23 cropping season fast approaching, the Government has elected to use the Electronic Input Distribution Application for the disbursement of Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs to curtail possible abuse of inputs thereby compromising the programme’s effectiveness.

The introduction of the online platform is part of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development’s efforts to ring-fence the Presidential Input Scheme from abuse, hence the need for farmers to register on this platform, as they will only access inputs through the platform.

“Farmers have welcomed the programme with 961, 992 having registered so far. This represents 32 percent of the targeted 3 million households countrywide,” chief director Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services (ARDAS), Professor Obert Jiri observed yesterday.

Registered farmers are given grower’s numbers that will later be used in a productivity audit, as the Government mainstreams business practices in the agricultural sector.

The farmers have to sign-up on the Electronic Input Distribution Application to be considered for inputs and will also have to log in to confirm reception of inputs. This system will assist in increasing accountability and transparency on the part of both farmers and distributors.

Professor Jiri added: “Barring any technical glitches the electronic farmer registration platform is the best thing that ever happened to input distribution in the country. 

“In addition, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which was awarded the contract to distribute inputs for the inputs is set to commence the process in the next few weeks. The Ministry has remodelled the distribution chain to enhance traceability and accountability.”

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) secretary general Mr Paul Zakariya commended the Government’s initiative saying it would help in creating a robust data system that would complement the annual crop assessment exercise. 

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development has since incorporated councils and local village heads in the distribution programme. Councils are tasked with chairing the distribution committee while local school heads will serve as secretaries reporting to ARDAS.

Moreover, the registration number will facilitate the securing of AFC Insurance, as the Ministry moves to protect the farmers and investments, as a way of ensuring that yields are protected from the vagaries of the weather and unforeseen natural disasters.

In line with the agricultural transformation and climate proofing agenda, the Government is working with AFC Insurance Company, which will go a long way in climate proofing the Pfumvudza Programme as well as advancing the financial inclusion agenda in order to foster a business practice mind-set in small-scale farmers.  

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