Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
An A1 farmer in Insiza District, Matabeleland South Province, together with his wife, have proven that hard work, financial support and a little nudge bear much fruit.
Mr Edson Moyo and his wife Fungai, have thriving crops on 4,8 hectares of land which they cultivated using resources from the Presidential Input Support Scheme.
After adopting the Intwasa/Pfumvudza programme that is being promoted by Government, Mr Moyo is expecting no less than 15 tonnes of maize.
He has also grown round nuts, soya beans, sorghum, cow peas and finger millet.
Intwasa/Pfumvudza is aimed at supporting households to improve food security and ultimately in the country.
Government adopted the Intwasa/Pfumvudza to address the problem of low production and productivity which continued to negatively affect food security in Zimbabwe.
The concept promotes climate proofing agriculture by adopting conservation farming techniques and involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and application of the correct agronomic practices for higher returns.
Under the scheme, farmers were receiving 10kg seed maize, 50kg of Compound D fertiliser, 50kg basal and top-dressing fertiliser, 5kg groundnut, 5kg sorghum, 2kg pearl millet, 5kg soyabean and chemicals for fall armyworm.
Mr Moyo, who stands tall and proud of his achievement, said hard work and perseverance pay.
“My wife and I, with some help from our children used the gatshompo (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) method to grow this maize. We don’t just farm for ourselves but for our community and our country as well. Our ultimate goal is to feed the nation and ensure our country is food secure,” said Mr Moyo.
He said he was expecting no less than 15 tonnes of maize from the piece of land they had cultivated. “We’re also growing round nuts, soya beans, sorghum, cow peas and finger millet,” he said.
He said finger millet had various medicinal properties and health benefits which many households value. “We use it to make porridge, isitshwala and traditional brews which many rural communities love and brew during various traditional and family occasions.”
Mr Moyo commended Government for introducing the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme saying it had been beneficial to local communities.
“We’re experiencing the benefits of this programme and need Government to continue supporting us.
“This programme will help ensure that there’s food security in the country. We’ve realised that one plot can give us a tonne of maize. Next season, we hope to cultivate on no less than 20 plots which means we’ll be expecting to harvest 20 tonnes of maize and above,” said Mr Moyo.
Insiza District Development Coordinator Mr Zacharia Jusa said the district has for the past two years been requesting that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) decentralises its operations from Filabusi to wards 20 and 21 where the bulk of farmers in the district are located.
“We need a sub-depot so that we ensure that we collect the maximum possible grain from our farmers. Insiza District is the bread basket of the province and needs support to ensure the decentralisation of GMB activities. We’re doing well as a district and the fields speak for themselves,” said Mr Jusa.
Apart from crop production, Mr Jusa said his office was expecting livestock under the Youth Livestock Scheme which was launched by President Mnangagwa recently.
“We will ensure that the animals are delivered into the district and ensure that the programme is run successfully,” he said. The scheme is a life skill that will be instilled within youths and is expected to become an income generating project which will improve youths’ lives.
The project will also go a long way in improving the national cattle herd as well as help achieve Vision 2030.
Government is also implementing the Livestock Growth Plan which seeks to grow the sector to US$1,9 billion by 2025.
The Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy anchors and propels Zimbabwe towards Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-income economy.
Under the scheme, increasing the cattle numbers from a 2019 baseline of 5,4 million to 6 million in 2025 with a beef production of 90 000 tonnes and milk production from 79,9 million to 150 million litres are some of the targets of the Livestock Growth Plan.
The programme also aims at increasing the national dairy herd from 38 000 in 2019 to 60 000 by 2025. – @Yolisswa