The abundant rains being received countrywide have raised hopes of a bumper harvest, with government optimistic that this season’s targets will be achieved through the successful implementation of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.
Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka who spoke to ZBC News on the sidelines of a tour of the Tugwi Mukosi Dam, said the Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept was oversubscribed.
“There has been overwhelming uptake by the farmers. Initially we had targeted 1,8 million households, but 2,3 million ended up being trained and enrolled.
“We are now in the process of delivering fertilizer. Focus is now of applying the fertilizer and scouting for army worms to ensure nothing compromises the yields,” said the minister.
Dr Masuka is upbeat of a bumper harvest with expectations of a surplus.
“We expect 2, 8 million metric tonnes. We hope that will be enough to feed the nation and get us a surplus.”
The Pfumvudza farming practice has also brought hope for farmers in areas that usually receive below-average rainfall.
The Pfumvudza agriculture scheme is paying dividends as witnessed by the large volume of thriving crops this summer cropping season, with farmers in Mashonaland Central producing over 240 thousand hectares of maize.
Travelling in the countryside shows vast tracts of land under green maize, soya bean and cotton, bearing testimony to the looming success of the Pfumvudza programme and other farming schemes.
Small holder farmer Magaret Manyika who planted maize through the Pfumvudza scheme alongside a thriving cotton crop believes a bumper harvest is on the horizon, sentiments echoed by other farmers.
“We planted maize through Pfumvudza and self-financed some of the crop, not forgetting cotton which we planted under the command agriculture scheme. The rains have been forthcoming to an extent there are is too much rainfall, so the season is bright,” said Ms Manyika.
“This season I have no complaints, the Lord has been merciful with rains and I’m expecting a big harvest.”
Mashonaland Central Provincial Agronomist, Mr Izah Jaidi said while crop assessment is underway, the province is on target to surpass last year’s production levels.
“It has been a very good farming season and while the crop assessment is yet to verify, hectarage production has been so much that we will have more crop output than we produced last season,” he said.
Figures from Agritex show that Mashonaland Central planted over 240 thousand hectares of maize with 32 thousand under the Pfumvudza programme designed by government to boost household food security. – ZBC