Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
More than 20 000 Bulawayo farmers who are preparing for the 2022/23 farming season will today start taking delivery of inputs from the Presidential Inputs Scheme.
At national level, about 4,6 million Intwasa/Pfumvudza plots have been prepared, an increase from last season’s 2,3 million while 2,7 million farmers have been trained, compared to about two million the previous season.
The climate-proofed Presidential Inputs scheme is targeting 100 000 households in both urban and peri-urban areas in Bulawayo and has already distributed fertiliser and seeds to 240 farmers as well as 10 000 chicks to 1 000 poultry farmers under the Presidential Poultry Scheme in Ward 17 covering Methodist, St Peter’s, Robert Sinyoka and Mazwi.
The Presidential Poultry Scheme is targeting 32 000 peri-urban households in the province.
In the previous season, Bulawayo farmers harvested 5 000 tonnes of maize with the tonnage expected to be higher this time as the Second Republic pushes to ensure there is food self-sufficiency at household level.
The Government is targeting to produce 3 million tonnes of maize this summer cropping season as the Second Republic has made food security a top priority.
The country requires 2,2 million tonnes of maize for human and livestock consumption yearly and the three million tonnes target will position Zimbabwe as a significant player in grain production in the region.
Acting director of Agricultural Rural Development and Advisory Services for Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces, Mr Dumisani Nyoni said preparations for the farming season are already underway.
“We have slightly above 20 000 farmers that have prepared their land, registered with us and are now ready to take delivery of the inputs. We should be rolling out the distribution programme from Monday next week and I must emphasise that only those who have prepared their land will be given these inputs but we are confident that more will join in soon,” said Mr Nyoni last week.
Cabinet recently revealed that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was targeting to have completed the distribution of inputs by the end of this month with 68 percent of the inputs in its depots having been distributed to farmers.
The nation was also assured that there was adequate transport to distribute inputs up to ward level with the Government issuing a stern warning to those involved in corruption and violence at the inputs distribution centres that the law will catch up with them.
The composition of distribution committees has been expanded and security enhanced at the centres to curtail such practices with the public urged to quickly report any incidents they may come across to authorities in their area.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said recently that those selling or buying agricultural inputs earmarked for the Intwasa/Pfumvudza scheme risk being arrested.
He said police were not accepting any fines from offenders as they were treating such cases as serious fraud. – @skhumoyo2000.
Article Source: The Chronicle