Source: Presidential inputs distribution underway | The Sunday News 3 NOVEMBER 2019
Munyaradzi Musiiwa/Crispen Gumunyu
MIDLANDS Province is targeting to put more than 80 150 hectares under maize production under the Presidential Input Support Scheme after receiving close to 2 006 tonnes of seed maize and other farming inputs.
The province also received 931 tonnes of basal fertiliser (Compound D), 299,75 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate (AN), 14 260 tonnes demise and 9,5 tonnes of sorghum seed.
Provincial Crop and Livestock officer Mrs Madeline Magwenzi said the province had already started receiving the inputs under the Presidential Input Support Scheme programme which is set to benefit every household and communal farmers.
“We have started receiving inputs under the Presidential Input Support Scheme. Most districts have started receiving the inputs. We are going to be distributing the inputs to all households in the province. We also received the inputs for small grain. We received 2 006,75 tonnes of seed maize, 931 tonnes of Compound D fertiliser, 299,75 tonnes AN, Demise 14 260 tonnes and sorghum 95 tonnes. For sorghum the seed is expected to cover 95ha while for seed maize it will cover 80 150ha,” she said.
Mrs Magwenzi urged farmers to be fully prepared ahead of the summer cropping season to ensure optimal yield. In a related development, Minister of Provincial Affairs for Matabeleland North Richard Moyo said the province has also started to receive the inputs under the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme.
“We started receiving inputs under the Distribution of Presidential Inputs Programme which we launched together with the cotton seed in Lusulu where Vice-President Kembo Mohadi was the guest of honour. All districts have been confirming that distribution of maize, small grains and fertiliser has started,” said Cde Moyo.
He said estimations as to how much the province will contribute to the national maize target that has been set for this season will become clear when most households have received the inputs.
“I am not yet sure how many households have been given because it is still early and it will become clear in a few weeks to come which is when I will be in a position to say how much we can contribute towards the national target of 4,5 million tonnes this season,” said Cde Moyo.
He also said local banks have assisted farmers with funds that will enable them to increase their productivity.
“We have moved from Command Agriculture to Smart Agriculture so farmers are getting assistance from banks such as Agribank and CBZ who are providing money for fertiliser, seed, chemicals, diesel and working capital. I think we are on the right track for this coming season,” he said.
Meanwhile, chemists have urged Government to embrace new farming technologies to ensure optimal yields and avert hunger.
In an interview on the sidelines of Zimbabwe Chemical Society workshop last week, the society’s registrar and founding executive president, Mr Fastino Madzima, said the Government should implement scientific driven farming methodologies.
Mr Madzima said the country has failed to get optimal yield due to primitive farming methods.
“Global warming is a result of certain chemical processes. The temperatures and rainfall patterns that are changing are a result of chemical processes. The only people who can avert that are chemists.
Extension officers in the Ministry of Land, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement use the push factor driven decisions. We now want to use the science driven decision making. People have been farming on the same fields for more than a century. So the pH has changed. Government should invest more in people who have the knowledge. Who can measure the pH levels and then we are able to maintain the yield at any given time under any weather condition,” he said.
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