Farmers unions have rallied behind the Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement farming concept of Pfumvudza, which they said if implemented well, would bring an end to crop failure due to low rainfall.
Pfumvudza concept is being promoted by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to ensure household and national food self-sufficiency.
During the 2020-21 summer cropping season, the Presidential Inputs Scheme will be targeted at promoting Pfumvudza, with priority being given to farmers who would have prepared their land using the technique.
Government is targeting over 1,8 million households to produce 1,8 million tonnes of cereals and over 360 000 tonnes oil seeds under the Pfumvudza concept.
Each household will be supported with a standard input package comprising 5kg seed for maize, 1x50kg bag basal dressing, 1x50kg top dressing, fall armyworm pesticide, traditional grain seeds for both oil seeds and cereals per household.
Farmers in the drier parts of the country will be supported with other climate smart crops such as cow pea, groundnuts and roundnuts.
Land preparations are under way in most parts of the country, with the communal sector showing an overwhelming response to the conservation farming technique.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union president, Mr Abdul Nyathi yesterday said Pfumvudza concept was a noble one, which would increase yields even under drought conditions.
“There has been an overwhelming response by farmers especially at trainings.
“The farmers are curious and want to see the impact of the technique. Some farmers have finished digging the planting stations (holes),” he said.
Mr Nyathi said conservation agriculture would bring relief to farmers who were facing challenges securing tillage services.
He said the new system was ideal especially for those farmers whose oxen had succumbed to drought and diseases.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Mr Shadreck Makombe said the concept was not only good in Zimbabwe but Africa as a whole in the wake of perennial climate change problems.
He said conservation agriculture was not new but the way it was being promoted by Government was going to benefit farmers.
Mr Makombe said the technique should be extended to all farmers including those in peri-urban areas as they were also critical in the ensuring food security.
“Smallholder farmers are the chief producers and it important that they are equipped with important skills that boost productivity,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Farmers Union vice president Mr Edward Dune said although the concept was sounding new it was going to have a huge impact on the agriculture sector especially on soil management and boosting yield per unit area.
“Pfumvudza will go a long way in boosting yields because of its conservative elements in soil management.
“A lot of research has been built in this concept resulting in some precision technology,” he said.