Over one million hectares targeted under Pfumvudza/Intwasa Pfumvudza

Precious Manomano

Herald Reporter

A target of over one million hectares of crops under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme has been set for the 2023/2024 summer cropping season as Government moves to ensure optimum production and guarantee food security.

The climate-proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme introduced by President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic, has been hailed as a game-changer, which has uplifted many vulnerable households from poverty.

Distribution of inputs to 3,5 million households countrywide under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme is underway.

An update from the Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development shows that 1 062 807 ha would be under Pfumvudza crops.

Maize is scheduled to be planted under 400 000ha, soyabeans 6 230ha, sunflower 100 000ha, sorghum 250 000ha, Pearl millet 126 577ha and cotton 180 000ha.

Under the Pfumvudza programme, farmers can prepare up to five plots.

Depending on the district and the farming region, plots will have either maize or traditional grains, legumes, soya and sunflower.

Statistics also indicate that Pfumvudza training is progressing well with more staff and farmers taking up the training.

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and rural Development Permanent Secretary Dr John Basera said although Zimbabwe is predicted to receive below normal rainfall, efforts to scale up crop production should not be affected.

“We should aim higher in crop production this season because we can climate-proof our agriculture.

“Pfumvudza is the way to go,” he said.

In a recent interview, Tobacco Farmers Union Trust president, Mr Victor Mariranyika, urged farmers to diversify and take up Pfumvudza training in large numbers to ensure food security and boost household incomes through selling the surplus.

“I recommend farmers to take up this training. Pfumvudza is the only way to go in terms of ensuring food security and sustainability.

“The increase in farmers’ participation is a great sign which symbolises that the nation will be self-sufficient in terms of food crops,” he said.

Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services chief director, Professor Obert Jiri, recently said farmers in regions 4 and 5 and other areas that receive below normal rainfall should focus on growing traditional grains that are known to be far more drought tolerant than maize.

While addressing last week’s Politburo meeting, President Mnangagwa urged stakeholders in the agriculture sector to embrace the seed varieties and crops that suit the country’s different agro-ecological regions.

He added that promoting traditional grains in drought-prone regions was key to ending hunger and sustaining the country’s food security.

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