By Janet Munyaka
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says all farmers stand to benefit from the various agricultural programmes such as the Pfumvudza concept, adopted by the government to ensure national food security.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was this Wednesday afternoon presented with a belated 2019 Zimlife Agriculture Merit Award for rallying the country towards food security.
Receiving the award, President Mnangagwa said the government has ensured that the Pfumvudza concept which promotes the adoption of the principles of conservation agriculture, leaves no-one behind.
“I think the Pfumvudza one is more embracive because under command agriculture we were addressing people who had some degree of empowerment already but with Pfumvudza no one is left behind.
“Those who have tractors and so on can go to the Command agriculture which is now smart agriculture under CBZ then we have the presidential input scheme for those with oxen or donkeys, they can use them to plough and government will be supplying seed, fertiliser and chemicals. Those who don’t have tractors, who don’t have cattle, have hands they have Pfumvudza, we give them seed.
“So no one is left behind, no one will say we are not empowered. We believe that this is now the solution to food shortages.”
The Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Honourable Vangelis Haritatos concurred with the President, saying the country expects food self-sufficiency at household level following the implementation of the Pfumvudza concept.
“Pfumvudza will target 1.8 million households with a target of 1.8 million metric tonnes of cereal crops to be grown and also about 360 000 metric tonnes of oilseed is what we are targeting. Under the Pfumvudza concept, it is recommended that a farmer does three plots.
“Every single household will have three plots or 0.06hectares each; two plots will be for cereal, which is either maize or traditional grains. Maize in regions with higher rainfall; traditional grains in regions with lower rainfall. And the third plot will be sunflowers and soya beans which is oilseed.
“And why three plots it is very simple- the first plot is for food security to our strategic grain reserve, the second plot is for household security and third is a cash crop. It answers everything at the household level and impacts 1.8 million households.”
Zimlife Chief Executive Officer, Mr Israel Kembo said the award recognises people’s unwavering commitment to the success of the agricultural sector, hence the honour to President Mnangagwa for spearheading the command agriculture programme.
President Mnangagwa’s award included a sculptor of a lion which is his totem, a medal and a certificate.
The second award in the category was won by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement while the third prize was awarded to a company that received more orders for agricultural supplies than the other companies that participated at the ZMA awards last year.