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Hope for subdued agricultural sector

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ZIMBABWE’s subdued agricultural sector remains hopeful of turning the corner if stakeholders embrace technology and the on-going crop production intensification programme, Pfumvudza, Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) chief executive officer Clever Isaya said yesterday.

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

Isaya said the sector has been hard-hit by the drought, but there was still hope of recovery if farmers embrace the new agro-technology under the Pfumvudza programme.He said if embraced by all farmers, this will help Zimbabwe transform from a basket case to its original position of being Africa’s breadbasket.

“The crop production intensification programme, popularly known as Pfumvudza, if widely adopted is an opportunity to enhance the country’s subdued agricultural output by increasing yields. Coupled with mechanisation of agriculture, this will go a long way in increasing efficiency and productivity,” Isaya
said.

Government recently introduced Pfumvudza to maximise productivity per unit area, even during drought periods, to ensure household and national food and nutritional security.
The concept involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and applying the correct agronomic practices for higher returns.

“The result (of drought and climate change effects) has therefore depressed agricultural output, which forced the nation to import grain in order to avert starvation.”
Isaya said AMA will play a critical role in providing adequate information to farmers to ensure maximum productivity.

AMA is mandated with the regulation of the production, marketing and processing of agricultural products in Zimbabwe.

“Farmers registered with AMA are able to receive technical guidance through field officers in every province across the country. Programmes such as Pfumvudza entail that there is going to be fast-tracked adoption and implementation of agro-technology,” Isaya said.

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