By Derick Tsimba
The Agriculture Recovery Plan (ARP) is expected to increase farming productivity through its contributions in supporting farmers.
With this plan, Zimbabwe is set to turn around its agricultural sector this coming 2020/21 cropping season amidst the projected good rainfalls. The projected good season follows decades of under production which saw the country losing its status of being the bread basket of Africa.
The Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan, a sub recovery plan within the ARP which was drafted by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to facilitate the production of horticulture products such as fruits and vegetables for export, has capacity to revamp the Agriculture sector.
Through the New Dispensation’s Vision 2030 aimed at achieving an upper middle-income economy, agriculture is expected to grow from a US$5.2 billion to US$8 billion sector.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa during a Cabinet meeting in October 2020 said, “The Horticulture Recovery and Growth Plan focuses on two broad and mutually reinforcing areas, namely: a private sector-driven recovery of the conventional horticulture sub-sector; and a robust, inclusive and sustainable and transformative rural horticulture sub-sector.
“Furthermore, it is projected that altogether a US$1.217 billion annual rural horticulture economy will be created by 2025, growing to US$3, 5 billion by 2030. This will be equivalent to income amounting to US$675 and US$2 000 per household by 2025 and 2030,” she said.
Calling upon the nation to utilise the recently launched Agriculture Recovery Plan model for agriculture and economic productivity, President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently said the recovery model should be adopted by all 10 provinces to enhance productivity on the land.
The agricultural sector must be productive and become the centre of the country’s development. The Agriculture Recovery Plan should result in the realisation of agriculture transformation and modernisation for the attainment of food self-sufficiency.
In support of the ARP, Government has managed to promote irrigation and mechanisation programmes in areas such as Kanyemba, Masvingo, and Bulawayo, among others, all of which should result in the improvement of agricultural productivity.
Government has also managed to popularise the Pfumvudza Farming concept to communal and small holder farmers. Resources are being unveiled to support farmers who are taking part in the Pfumvudza programme through the Presidential Input Support Scheme and the Command Agriculture Programme, under the new financing model.
Government introduced Pfumvudza to enable the maximisation of productivity by farmers per unit area. The farming concept ensures successful yields even in drought conditions and has proven to be a success story to provide household and national food and nutritional security when put to practice.
Pfumvudza involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and applying the correct agronomic practices for higher returns. The approach can be used in marginal disadvantaged areas and still give high yield.