The government has intensified the distribution of inputs across the country with Pfumvudza beneficiaries getting seed and lime amid projections of a good rainy season.
Zimbabwe recorded the best yields in two decades of 3.1m tonnes last agriculture season, courtesy of good rainfall and a high level of preparedness.
Goromonzi agriculture extension officer Isaac Muzambi told Business Times that the government has moved to distribute inputs early given last summer cropping season’s success.
“Inputs distribution has started in various farming across the country with Pfumvudza beneficiaries getting the inputs first.
“However, starting from next week every farmer is expected to start receiving inputs as the government wants to beat the October 15 deadline,” Muzambi said.
With early rains expected, weather experts expect some areas to receive their first rains by mid-October, a date which the government is pushing to meet in terms of inputs distribution to farmers.
Famers are rounding off their preparatory work and want authorities to ensure inputs are accessible in time.
Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary general Paul Zakariya said smallholder farmers are almost done in terms of preparing for the season.
“Work is almost complete in most smallholder farmers’ fields across the country with growers waiting for inputs to begin the new season,” he said.
He, however, said the delay in payments has hampered self-sponsored farmers as inputs prices skyrocketed in the past two months.
Although the payment has improved, high inputs prices have dampened self-sponsored farmers.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadreck Makombe said preparations had intensified with self-funding farmers already procuring inputs.
“Pfumvudza technique brought high yields last season and most farmers [even commercial farmers] are doing some furrows and using crop residue as mulch to conserve moisture in case of mid-season drought or premature ending of the season like last summer season,” Makombe said.
This upcoming season, Zimbabwe has set a target of 2.8m hectares of maize and traditional grains.
The government is planning to sustainably increase crop production and productivity to meet and surpass the national requirements for human consumption and industrial use.
This will be done through the religious implementation of the key tenets of the Agriculture Recovery Plan anchored on conservation agriculture principles to climate-proof the Presidential Input Scheme, provision of inputs, and constant supply of key utilities such as power and fuel to farmers.