By Tendai Munengwa
PROSPECTS of a good summer cropping season have become even brighter after the government imported more top dressing fertiliser, with distribution and application of the commodity now in full swing countrywide.
With normal to above normal rainfall being received in most parts of the country, the government has activated all transport and other logistical systems to ensure all farmers under the Presidential Free Inputs Scheme receive top dressing fertiliser on time.
Several wagons carrying top dressing fertilizer were spotted at various GMB depots in the Midlands, Bulawayo and Matabeleland provinces, while trucks were also loading the commodity from warehouses in Harare to different parts of the country.
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka, who is on a countrywide crop assessment tour, assured farmers of adequate top dressing fertilizer.
“The new dispensation is leaving no farmers behind all Pfumvudza/Intwasa households will get their fertilizer and distribution has been intensified so that farmers take advantage of the rains to apply their top dressing. all the transport cost for the deliveries have been catered for. I urge farmers to report any case where some individuals want to solicit cash from farmers such as transport cost,” said Dr Masuka.
The company mandated to import the commodity, FSG has since introduced 24-hour shifts to move top dressing fertiliser from border posts direct to several distribution points across the country.
“All the fertilisers coming from Durban and Beira are moved in bulk by wagons and trucks to the nearest collection points by farmers. it all systems go by railway and road as you can see here the 45 wagons have been dispatched to various GMBs so that the top dressing is closer to the farmer. We have secured enough top dressing it has arrived on time this season as compared to last year,” notes FSG operations manager McDonald Mandere.
Over 40 000 tonnes of the top dressing fertiliser have been distributed so far and the target by FSG is to clear the balance of about 45 000 tonnes of the commodity and ensure that the 2.3 million households registered under the Presidential Inputs programme are catered for by mid-February.