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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Pfumvudza/Intwasa masterclasses introduced

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

THE government is set to roll out the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Masterclass Programme to ensure communities are capacitated on sustainable agriculture as the country targets food self-sufficiency.

Laison Sithole from Chipinge has become a symbol of Pfumvudza/Intwasa excellence in his area after planting 18 plots, while commercial farmer Oscar Taguta has also scored high after putting at least 150 hectares of maize under irrigation.

Sithole said, “Government’s Pfumvudza/Intwasa has transformed the face of agriculture in our area. I have about 18 Pfumvudza Plots and I am sure if the rains continue like this, I can get up to 15 tonnes. Pfumvudza is a game changer, we are now business people with a reliable source of income through farming.”

“We have planted about 150 hectares which we are irrigating. Our target is to achieve at least 8 tonnes per hectare. We want to thank the government for availing inputs, fertilisers and chemicals on time,” said Taguta.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka who toured the two farmers’ projects in Chipinge this Friday revealed that all food-insecure households will be enrolled under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Masterclass Programme to train them on sustainable agriculture.

“Over the past four years, we have seen that households that have done all the tenets of Pfumvudza/Intwasa have become self-sufficient in terms of food and they have also been able to market surplus to GMB. It is in this context that the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and I have requested and got the agreement of the President that we vary the social welfare pre-qualification by households that need food assistance. So commencing this year, any household that needs assistance must do the mandatory three Pfumvudza plots first before they can access social welfare assistance.”

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Advocate Misheck Mugadza hailed the early disbursement of Pfumvudza/Intwasa inputs and revitalisation of irrigation schemes.

“As Manicaland, we are very appreciative to the President and government for the early disbursement of inputs and fertilisers. We had a target of 1 250 000 under Pfumvudza and we managed 1 181 000 this season which means there was high uptake. We are also grateful for the establishment of irrigation facilities and equipment. We have vast water deposits and with irrigation, we can feed the whole nation.”

The country is implementing the Pfumvudza/Intwasa climate-proofing farming method, which has been credited for boosting yields at household level and is expected to help wean families from depending on food handouts.

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