Pfumvudza targets 3,5 million households

29 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Pfumvudza targets 3,5 million households Mr Clemence Bwenje

The Herald

Farirai Machivenyika and Grace Mahora

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme will be extended to 3,5 million households for the 2022/2023 summer cropping season, and the Government has already released $20 billion towards the goal, as efforts to ensure food security continue.

This year’s target means an additional 1,2 million households will benefit from the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, after 2,3 million households participated.

Beneficiaries would be drawn from communal farmers, A1 farmers and those settled in old resettlement areas and peri-urban farmers, chief director for strategic planning and business development in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Mr Clemence Bwenje, said yesterday.

He said this during a capacity building workshop for Parliament’s Agriculture Portfolio Committee that was meant to enhance legislators’ capacity in monitoring and tracking the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocated to the ministry.

The workshop, which was held in conjunction with the Southern Africa Parliamentary Support Trust, was also aimed at monitoring the implementation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) projects in the agricultural sector.

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa is a conservation agriculture scheme that was adopted by the Government to boost yields especially for communal and smallholder farmers who do not have access to irrigation.

The scheme was adopted in light of the erratic rains the country has been receiving in the past few years that has affected yields.

Said Mr Bwenje: “The Pfumvudza scheme is targeting 3,5 million households in communal areas, A1 farmers, old resettlement areas and peri-urban farmers (this year). The programme will target crops such as maize, traditional grains, beans, sunflower and vegetables. The input pack will include water retention enhancers that will enhance the water retention capacity of the soil.

“You understand that the issue of mulch in most of our areas is a challenge so these water retention enhancers will come in handy.”

Mr Bwenje said the Government had also introduced the National Enhancement Agricultural Productivity Scheme under which 225 000 hectares of land would be put under maize, soya beans and sugar beans.

He said farmers would be chosen depending on which crop was suitable for their ecological region.

Farmer organisations yesterday welcomed the extension of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to more households saying the move will increase yields.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union president Mr Abdul Nyathi said: “Pfumvudza has never disappointed since it was introduced. It has been a successful story benefiting both small-scale farmers and commercial farmers.”

“As farmers we appreciate the Government for initiating Pfumvudza and increasing the number of households benefiting because it is very reliable and they will see an increased yield.

“It is guaranteed that we are given everything that we need including the seed and the yield gives room for exporting maize.”

Zimbabwe Integrated Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZICFU) president, Ms Maiwepi Jiti, said increasing the number of beneficiaries will capacitate more farmers.

“Increasing the number of beneficiaries for the Pfumvudza programme will go a long way in capacitating farmers. This will subsequently increase yields and incomes. It also means we will increase the national hectarage and consequently increase productivity.

“An increase in the yield will also reduce the burden of importing grain which is borne by Government in cases of low yields,” said Ms Jiti

However, she called on the Government to increase the US dollar component paid to farmers for their crops as that would boost morale and see more farmers going back to till the land.

Presently, the Government is paying US$90 and $75 000 per tonne of maize, a sum seen as low by some farmers.

But Agriculture minister Dr Anxious Masuka recently said while the Government wishes to increase the money paid to farmers, it seeks to do so in a manner that does not cause high prices for maize meal, which will affect low income earners.

Mrs Dephinah Nkomo also said she was happy with the rise in the number of households benefiting under Pfumvudza.

However, she called on authorities to clamp down on corruption which saw some deserving households being denied by those leading the distribution of inputs across the country.

“Corruption during input distribution must come to an end so that all people benefit from the scheme and the nation benefits,” said Mrs Nkomo.

A number of people have been arrested and some convicted for stealing Pfumvudza inputs.

Share This:

Sponsored Links