Story by Mercy Bofu
GOVERNMENT continues to engage communal farmers and empower them with modern farming technologies to ensure they produce maximum yields.
In the face of climate change, Masvingo communal farmers are the latest beneficiaries of the government and its partners’ training programme to strengthen their resilience and agriculture production capacity.
Farmers, who received training under the Farmer Field Schools programme, said they are now able to implement climate-resilient agriculture practices aimed at improving yields.
“The training programme has helped us to change our mindset towards the crops we grow. Here in Chivi we used to focus on maize but after receiving training we are now into small grains hence we are outstanding,” said one of the farmers.
Another farmer added, “The government and its partners installed an automated weather station for us and it is helping us to decide on a time to grow crops and apply fertilisers.”
The government promised to continue supporting farmers in dry regions, urging them to embrace traditional grains.
Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Chief Director Professor Obert Jiri said, “As a government, we are encouraging farmers across the country to embrace the pfumvudza intwasa programme at the same time farmers in dry regions we are saying concentrate on small grains and inputs are there.”
The training programme implemented by Green Climate Fund is targeting 30 000 farmers in Masvingo province.
Green Climate Fund Project Manager Mr Rungano Mbenza noted, “So far the project has capacitated 6900 lead farmers and we are targeting 30 000 farmers in 2024 who will be actively practising farming practices with improved crop harvests.”
The government is implementing various programmes under the rural industrialisation agenda to ensure improved yields in rural communities among them, the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme.