Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Distribution of inputs under the Climate-Proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme, popularly known as Pfumvudza/Intwasa, for the cropping season has intensified, with Government setting aside $152 million for the transportation of inputs from Grain Marketing Board depots to wards where farmers can easily access them.
And the large-scale farmers who are under the CBZ Agroyield programme can collect their inputs from their GMB depot.
More than 1,9 million farmers have holed out and so qualified for the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme with more 224 089 farmers having prepared their planting holes for all five plots.
Stakeholders have indicated that distribution of Presidential Inputs has intensified and all systems were in place for the transportation of the seed, fertilisers and chemicals to farmers before the rainy season gets going.
Authorities want all farmers to have collected their inputs before the rains as some roads may become impassable as the season is underway, and in any case farmers should be planting once sustained rains are falling.
GMB chief executive, Mr Rockie Mutenha yesterday said while farmers had already started receiving their inputs. Pfumvudza would be launched in Gokwe next week.
“Initially farmers were supposed to have completed all five plots under the Pfumvudza programme before they can get inputs, but we are ow issuing out inputs to the farmers for the number of plots the farmer has actually done.
“For instance, a farmer who has completed three plots will receive inputs for three plots. We are however encouraging farmers to do all five plots,” he said.
Mr Mutenha said Government was also catering for the transport of the inputs to the farmers.
“There is no need for farmers to mobilise transport to ferry inputs from the GMB depots,” he said.
There were reports that some councillors and transporters were demanding money from farmers for the transportation of the Pfumvudza inputs.
Mr Mutenha also advised farmers not to sell inputs they receive as stern measures will be taken against those who abuse the seed and fertilisers.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Dr Shadreck Makombe yesterday said all was in place for farmers benefiting under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.
“From the CBZ Agroyield programme, we have been told that inputs are now at the GMB and we urge farmers to collect now for early planting.
“The challenge is that fuel is being charged in foreign currency and our commodities are being paid for in local currency. We cannot buy foreign currency at the parallel market as this is not viable. We hope authorities will intervene and help farmers,” he said.
Government is intensifying efforts to boost agricultural production through Pfumvudza to guarantee food self-sufficiency and commercialise smallholder agriculture.
Pfumvudza is a concept aimed at climate proofing agriculture by adopting conservation farming techniques and involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and applying the correct agronomic practices for higher returns.
The concept, which will be applied to maize, traditional grains, and soyabeans will also commercialise smallholder agriculture.