The distribution of Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs is currently underway in all provinces and the programme will be extended to 3,5 million households for the summer cropping season, as the Government continues efforts to ensure farmers can make a good living and that enough food is grown for all in Zimbabwe.
Government is distributing agricultural inputs under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme to match the agro-ecological regions to ensure optimum production and guarantee food security and an income for all families.
Pfumvudza, the climate-proofed Presidential Input Scheme, introduced in President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic, has been hailed as an inclusive game changer benefiting vulnerable households in communal, A1, small-scale commercial farming and old resettlement sectors in producing cereals, oil seeds and legumes.
Government upgraded the scheme when it decided what were appropriate crops to be grown in the different natural regions.
Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr John Basera said this year farmers are getting inputs on time so that they embark early on farming; this will improve their preparedness and ensure early planting.
“One of the programmes under Rural Development programme 8.0 is obviously the Presidential input support programme and we have Pfumvudza input support programme wherein Zimbabwe supports 3,5 million beneficiaries throughout the country. Each household or beneficiary will get the input package comprising seed, a basal dressing fertiliser, top dressing fertiliser as well as technical agronomic practices,” he said.
He said this is a very important programme since 61 percent of the population reside in the rural areas and also most of them earn their living from agriculture, especially crop production. To boost their incomes, they need to achieve higher yields and ensure that they grow the right crops and varieties to ensure that they have a harvest.
“With regard to input distribution, so far we have distributed about 13 000 tonnes of basal dressing fertiliser through our GMB network. We have also distributed about 12 000 tonnes of top dressing fertilisers and 9 000 tonnes of lime have been delivered to GMB depots throughout the country.
“Government also went further to address household nutrition and income security by distributing 2,3 million vegetable combos comprising rape, onion, carrot, cabbage, tomatoes and other vegetable components targeting three million households throughout the country,” he said.
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.
Farmer organisations yesterday welcomed early distribution of inputs under Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme saying the move will increase yields.
Cotton Producers and Marketers Association Mr. Steward Mubonderi said getting inputs so early is a welcome development adding that Pfumvudza results are improving every year, so earlier distribution will give farmers more confidence in farming.
“We are expecting another bumper harvest in this coming season because Pfumvudza has never disappointed since it was introduced. It has been a successful story benefiting both small-scale farmers and commercial farmers,” he said.
“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.
Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president Mrs. Depinah Nkomo said the Pfumvudza programme would ensure another bumper harvest “This will 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 the Government in cases of low yields,” she said.
She, however, 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$335 with US$200 in foreign currency plus $135 in local currency per tonne of maize, a sum seen as low by some farmers.
She also said the Pfumvudza programme had become a solution for farmers in dry regions with the correct crops now being in the package.
Mrs. Maggy Murambiwa of Marondera thanked the Government for timeous distribution of Pfumvudza inputs adding that this has benefited vulnerable groups who struggled to make ends meet.
“We are grateful for this noble initiative which will go a long way in sustaining families. Government has rescued many households. We are grateful for this support. Getting inputs on time will mean a good harvest ahead of us,” she said.
Mrs. Babara Mataire of Mazowe said she is grateful to receive inputs on time adding that she is hoping to increase hectares so as to achieve a bumper harvest the following season,” she said.
Mr. Chamunorwa of Banket said the Government’s commitment needs to be appreciated as it symbolises great hope in the next season.
This is a commendable effort made by the Government.
‘’We are likely to achieve a bumper harvest in the following season since we get our inputs on time,” he said.
Statistics also revealed that last season, nearly 3 million farmers across the country have so far been trained on conservation agriculture.
Land preparations for the next summer season are under way in most parts of the country and the communal sector showing an overwhelming response to the conservation farming technique.