BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
SENATORS have pleaded with the Agriculture ministry to increase the land under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme from the current half an acre to at least one acre for all targeted farmers for improved yields.
“The Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement ministry as for the 2021/22 summer season, should increase the Pfumvudza/Intwasa target size of land from the current half an acre to at least one acre to all targeted farmers since it was well-adopted and proved to produce good yields,” Chief Ndhlovu told Senate while discussing a motion on the small-holder irrigation rehabilitation scheme and Pfumvudza programme.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government launched the Pfumvudza programme last year and with good rains, harvests were good in most parts of the country.
“Lands ministry should ensure that a complete package of Pfumvudza/Intwasa dryland summer inputs for 2021/22 season, that is seed, compound fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and top-dressing fertiliser are disbursed to the farmers before the onset of the rainy season by September 30, 2021,” Chief Ndhlovu said.
“The ministry should ensure that Grain Marketing Board collection points are established and accessible to farmers with at least 10km being the furthest as of March 30, 2022.”
He challenged the Finance ministry to provide funds to the Agriculture ministry in the 2022 budget so that it embarks on dam maintenance to ensure there is enough water for irrigation purposes.
“The Agriculture ministry should facilitate the withdrawal of underutilised irrigable land and farming equipment given to functional and unproductive schemes such as Hopewell Irrigation Scheme in Chegutu and allocate them to new potential farmers by November 30, 2021.
“The Lands ministry and the Women Affairs Small to Medium Enterprise Development ministry should embark on awareness campaigns to encourage women, youths and people with disability participation in all government-oriented agricultural programmes October 30, 2021.”
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