by Christopher Makaza
Over one million farmers countrywide have been trained on Pfumvudza, a crop production intensification, whereby farmers concentrate resources on a smaller piece of land, thus reducing labour demand and resulting in higher productivity from lower investment, hence higher profit margins.
The recently introduced farming concept comes at a time when most countries in Sub-Saharan African region and beyond, Zimbabwe included, are reeling from the adverse effects of climate change that had caused output in the Agriculture sector to decline.
Posting on its Twitter handle @MoLAWRR_zim, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement said, "More than one million farmers have so far been trained on conservation agriculture commonly referred to as Gatshompol/ Pfumvudza. The Government targets to train 1.8 million farmers by mid-September”.
Under the Pfumvudza concept, the 1.8 million farmers are projected to produce 1.8 million tonnes of cereals and over 360 000 tonnes oil seeds.
Each household will be supported with a standard input package comprising 5kg maize seed, 1×50kg bag basal dressing, 1×50kg top dressing, fall armyworm pesticide, traditional grain seeds for both oil seeds and cereals per household.
Farmers in drier parts of the country will be supported with smart crops such as cow pea, roundnuts and groundnuts.
Cotton Producers and Marketers Association Chairman Mr Stewart Mubonderi has hailed the Pfumvudza concept saying, if implemented well, the programme will ensure household and national food self-sufficiency.
"The Pfumvunza concept is a noble idea considering that it was introduced against a backdrop of continued decline in maize, wheat, soya bean output, which is a threat to national food security,’ he said.
Mr Mubonderi thanked the Government for introducing the Pfumvudza concept, which he said will complement the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme in ensuring food security.
The Pfumvudza concept has three key basic principles namely use of minimum or zero tillage, maintenance of organic mulch cover on the soil surface and use of crop rotations and interactions that include legume crops.