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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Government pledges to assist with agriculture inputs and technical support

Story by Mercy Bofu

AN increased number of communal farmers are set to focus on conservation agriculture and traditional grains in the upcoming summer cropping season to offset the effects of climate change.

With the Meteorological Services Department predicting normal to below normal rains this summer, farmers in Masvingo province have shifted focus to conservation agriculture and production of traditional grains to boost production.

A survey by the ZBC News crew showed that most farmers are currently working on their Pfumvudza/ Intwasa fields preparing for the planting season, cognisant of the need to climate-proof their farming ventures.

“We are getting ready for the season. We had that this season, the country will receive normal to below normal rains and we have to respond to that through conservation agriculture such that we do not incur losses and plunge into drought,” said a farmer.

“We are preparing our Pfumvudza fields and we are confident that even if we receive low rains, we will be able to harvest something,” said another farmer.

Other farmers will grow short-term to medium-term varieties and traditional grains as they battle the impact of climate change.

One of the farmers said, “Apart from growing maize, I am also preparing for small grains like millet, groundnuts and sunflowers.”

“In terms of seed varieties, this season I’m preferring short-season varieties because of weather predictions by the Meteorological Services Department,” noted another.

The government has pledged to provide inputs and technical support to smallholder farmers, especially those under the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa programme to ensure food security at the household level.

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Chief Director, Professor Obert Jiri said, “As a ministry, we have put in place various measures to support our farmers as we get ready for the summer season. For the Presidential Inputs, we have already started distributing inputs. We want all our farmers to embark on water conservation agriculture measures. We also need all our irrigation schemes to be put under maize this season.”

The government has put in place various measures to ensure food security in the country.

These include the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa programme, the establishment of new irrigation schemes and the rehabilitation of old ones to become viable.

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