MORE than 140 000 farmers in the Midlands province have to date dug Pfumvudza/ Intwasa holes in preparation for the summer cropping season.
Under the programme, each farming household will get an input package comprising 10kg maize seed, 5kg sorghum, 2kg pearl millet, 5kg soya beans, 2kg sunflower/castor beans and 5kg of either sugar beans, cowpeas or round nuts.
Some farmers will get 5kg of summer wheat, long season variety, 2x50kg of Compound D fertiliser, 1x50kg top dressing fertiliser and chemicals for fall armyworm or stalk borer control.
The Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept promotes intensive farming through the utilisation of small pieces of land to increase productivity.
It also promotes a systemic approach to the adoption of good agronomic practices, thereby increasing the yields achieved on specified plot sizes.
In an interview yesterday, Midlands Provincial Agronomist, Mr Innocent Dzuke, said the digging of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa holes was work in progress.
“The number of farmers who have potholed is currently at 140 894. The programme is going on well across the Midlands province,” he said.
Mr Duke said the province is targeting at least 500 000 farmers under the programme adding that training and workshops on the programme have been going on well.
According to agriculture experts, Pfumvudza/Intwasa principles require farmers to adhere to minimum soil disturbance techniques by digging a hole or planting station where they will be planting their seeds and leaving the rest of the land undisturbed.
Farmers should use a mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds during the summer season.
They must also rotate crops grown on their plots, especially with a legume for soil conservation.
The concept is tailor-made to benefit all farmers in Zimbabwe. Government has already released $20 billion towards the programme.
This year’s target means an additional 1,2 million households will benefit from the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, after 2,3 million households participated last year.
The Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept supports the country’s efforts to achieve national food self-sufficiency and is key to the Government’s economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1, which identifies food security and nutrition as key drivers of economic revival.
Article Source: The Chronicle