Farmers to get inputs according to region requirements

May 11, 2022

By Munyaradzi Doma

Farmers who are contracted under the Presidential Inputs Scheme will receive inputs according to the ecological requirements of their areas rather than for them to choose what they want to produce. This comes into effect after it was noted that some farmers were choosing crops which are not suitable for their regions, hence affecting the country’s expected production levels.

This was revealed by Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka during Seed Cotton Marketing Season launch in Gokwe, Chitekete. “What is grown in a region, what is raised in a region is determined by the agro ecological requirements of that region, it is not determined by what the farmer wants.

“Therefore Government support in an agro ecological region is not determined by what the farmers wants, but it is determined by the agro ecological region. “We will fully support a scheme which will be viable for an area, if you say you want to produce the right crop we will fully support you.

“You should not blame cotton contractors to say they are not giving you the right inputs, no, but it is now a Government decision that we will give according to an area specifications,” said Minister Masuka. The Minister also revealed that only cotton farmers who practice climate proofed Pfumvudza/Intwasa will benefit from the Presidential Inputs Scheme because the programme produces better yields.

He said all those who do not take heed of the call will only get a grace period of this coming season but the one after, they will not be given inputs. “If you want to produce cotton, you have to make sure that you make use of Pfumvudza/Intwasa because we have seen that it works and it boosts production.

“As you will be aware, in 2015 Government moved in to revive the cotton industry by introducing the Presidential Input Support Programme, due to the crop’s strategic importance. “After peaking at 352 000 tonnes in 2011, cotton output declined to 28 000 tonnes three years later due to lack of adequate funding and poor prices.

“Last year, cotton production was at 137 000 tonnes, an increase of 66 percent from 91 000 tonnes produced the previous year 2020, due to increase coverage of the Presidential Input Scheme,” added Minister Masuka. He also revealed that though this season’s intake is expected to be 116 000 tonnes of seed cotton which is a 15 percent decline, the yield could have been less had it not been for the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme.

Speaking at the same function, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Larry Mavima said Gokwe prides itself as being the number 1 cotton growing region contributing 52 percent of the country’s total production.

He added that the region will continue to increase its cotton production owing to the huge support from President Mnangagwa.
The Seed Cotton Marketing Season launch was attended by various stakeholders in the cotton industry among them Agricultural Marketing Authority, COTTCO, ShawashAgri, Alliance Ginneries, Southern Cotton and Zimbabwe Cotton Consortium and farmers.

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