Mash West Bureau
Communal and urban farmers in Mashonaland West Province are still preparing their fields in line with the requirements of the Government climate-proofed agricultural Presidential Input Scheme, Pfumvudza.
Under the programme, farmers are supposed to dig holes and apply mulching before they can be allocated inputs.
The land preparation should be approved by an agriculture extension officer.
While the province initially targeted to train 333 000 households under the programme, 230 991 were trained, with 304 453 preparing holes by the first week of December while about 148 373 had mulched during the same period.
A survey conducted by The Herald in some parts of Makonde and Zvimba districts showed that farmers were continuing with digging holes, taking advantage of the wet spell.
In Chinhoyi town, peri-urban farmers were last week seen digging Pfumvudza holes.
“We had not dug any holes because we thought it was only for rural and communal farmers, but since we learnt that it is open to everyone through our ward leaders, we are now coming on board,” said one of the farmers in Chinhoyi, Mr Ranganai Moyosvi.
Mashonaland West provincial Agritex agronomist, Ms Siyena Makaza, said the province was going to surpass its target.
“We are impressed by the response from farmers. Although we managed to train 230 991 instead of the initial target of 333 000 households, we have over 320 000 that have managed to conduct holing and slightly close to 170 000 that have mulched,” she said.
She said that they were expecting over 400 000 households to have joined the programme by end of planting period.
“At least 1 612, 64 tonnes of maize seed had been dispatched to various depots while 1293, 71 metric tonnes have been distributed by first week of December. We have also distributed more than 14 155,5 metric tonnes of basal fertiliser from 15 621,95 tonnes that we received while 7 868, 25 tonnes from 9 207, 38 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser have been distributed to farmers during the same period,” she added.
Ms Makaza, whose team was still compiling figures of how many people have benefited so far, said a total of 4 691 tonnes of lime had been disbursed by last week from 7 868 tonnes dispatched by the Government.