HARARE – The weather forecast released by the Southern African regional forum at the weekend has set the 2019-2020 summer cropping season in motion with government rolling out command and the presidential free inputs.
According to State media, meteorologists from across the SADC region have predicted normal rainfall this forthcoming summer season – the good news that farmers were anxiously waiting for.
Government has also announced its preparedness for the cropping season with initiatives such as command agriculture, presidential free inputs scheme and agriculture inputs guarantee scheme now in place to assist farmers.
The Minister of lands, agriculture, water, climate and rural resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal, Perrance Shiri said the inputs assistance programme will target farmers with a good track record.
“Our command programme is continuing, but I want to make it clear that only those who paid back their loans will be considered while those who reneged will be left in the cold,” said minister Shiri.
Minister Shiri also advised farmers to grow drought resistant crops such as sorghum and other small grains.
“To deal with climate change we have a policy which proved correct in the previous season, farmers should take heed of growing small grains, these traditional varieties will produce something even when drought strike, so it is advisable farmers plant these varieties,” he said.
The launch of command agriculture and presidential free inputs scheme has gone a long way in boosting the country’s grain reserves with expectations high that the country can regain its bread basket status. –