Mthabisi Tshuma, Farming Correspondent
THE new farming technique introduced by the Government called Conservation Agriculture concept commonly referred to as the Pfumvudza is set to boost the country’s food security as the rain fed farming season approaches.
This comes as Government has trained over one million farmers against a target of 1,8 million farmers by mid September.
The Pfumvudza concept is an initiative where farmers prepare in advance thoroughly for the rain fed farming technique.
Farmers months before the farming starts hole and mulch before manure application on three plots and a plot is 39m by 16m (0,06ha) each. All plots have same spacing of 75cm interow and 60cm inrow.
The first plot is the food security plot where farmers can plant either maize or sorghum where as the second plot is the strategic reserve plot which farmers can plant any small grain while the third plot is the cash crop plot which farmers can plant either sunflower or soya bean.
If each plot is properly pegged it should have 52 rows and 28 planting station in a row with 2 plants in each planting station hence 2912 plant population per plot.
The concept is based on three main principles of conservation agriculture that is minimum soil disturbance, crop rotation and use of mulch.
Youths in Agriculture Apex Council Board (YAACB) Chairperson Mr John Muchenje who is a prominent farmer and reigning countrywide National Young Champion Farmer applauded the Ministry for the initiative and encouraged all young farmers and other farmers to adopt the concept in order to alleviate poverty in the country.
The National Champion Farmer was in Chirumanzu his rural area this week where he was on an outreach of the Pfumvudza Concept.
“The concept is a great initiative by the Government that will benefit all people who farm either there in business or not.
“We give thanks to the Government and HE ED Mnangagwa for such a great programme and as youths in agriculture we will work flat out to ensure it turns out a success,” said Mr John Muchenje.
Chief executive officer of Foundations for Farming Global Mr Blessing Craig said with climate change fast grappling the country, the Pfumvudza concept will mitigate drought effects.
“The Pfumvudza concept is climate smart in that it mitigates against drought because the plot size to feed a family for a year is so small that it can be water planted on time and can also be watered by hand with a bucket in times of weather stress.
“Every rural household and even urban dwellers can do a Pfumvudza plot. If 2 million households did just one Pfumvudza plot faithfully, that can result in over 1 million tons of food for the nation. This is just the start. Small scale farmers can feed the nation once again. The Lords revelation to feed a nation,” said Mr Craig.