By Tendai Munengwa
Farmers have welcomed the move to ensure that the country is well prepared for the next summer cropping season with government having availed more input schemes to empower rural communities to diversify production.
The 2021/22 agriculture strategic roadmap approved by Cabinet this week has ushered in a diversity of new opportunities aimed at transforming communal farming into commercial business ventures.
“To add on last year’s programme, the new strategy will witness the operationalisation of the Rural Presidential Horticulture and the introduction of Presidential Rural Poultry Pass-on scheme and a raft of other measure which will see millions of rural livelihood uplifted,” said the Minister of Information, Publicity And Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa.
“The rural horticulture plan will target fruit trees namely, passion fruit, granadilla, pecan nuts, apple, guava, mango, lemon, avocado, pears, and macadamia, phase one will see over 500 thousand seedlings disbursed. Another 1.8 million rural households are targeted under the new Presidential rural pass-on poultry scheme. 600 thousand goats to benefit 8 provinces, while fisheries, silage and pasture production and enhanced milk production will be supported,” she added.
Farmer organisations thanked the government for bringing a full basket of crop diversity and pledged to deliver in line with the National Development Strategy One.
“This state of preparedness have come with a diversity of crops which have been the missing link to turnaround the rural community gross domestic product. But with these vast new components, we urge our farmers to embrace them and like Pfumvudza, we expect good results if this is implemented according to plan,” said Zimbabwe Farmers Union Secretary-General Paul Zakaria.
Coalition of Agric Graduates of Zimbabwe Chairperson Dickson Kubvakacha said, “Agriculture is all about timing and planning. The Second Republic has brought a new dimension in terms of good planning. We have millions of small scale farmers now venturing into export and a diversity of food and nutritional crop. This strategy is the way to go to uplift the rural community in line with vision 2030.”
The national crop production roadmap for the 2021/22 summer cropping season also includes proposals on private sector led programmes, categorised into private sector value chain financing or contract farming.