Harare(New Ziana) – At least three million farmers will this year get farming inputs free of charge under the presidential input scheme, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.
Last year, the government provided inputs to 2.7 million farmers in communal, small-scale commercial, old resettlement and peri-urban farming areas for cereals, oil seeds and legumes.
In a State of the Nation address, President Mnangagwa said distribution of inputs will be tailored to the ecological farming requirements of the different regions to ensure optimum production and guarantee national food security.
“In agriculture, the Presidential Input Programme is targeting 3 million farmers for enhanced production of cereals, oil seeds and legumes. The programme will support five Pfumvudza/Intwasa plots per household, with specific crop input packages based on agro-ecological regions,” he said.
In the past, the inputs were distributed without regard to the suitability of crops to particular areas, with maize seed in particular being given to farmers across all regions.
This cropping season, farmers in regions 1 and 2 would be given more maize seed (10kg per plot) and less traditional grains seeds, which do not do well in these areas.
In regions 3, 4 and 5 this would be reduced to 5 kg or 2 kg per plot, and to compensate for that, farmers would receive more traditional grains such as sorghum, African peas and pearl millet.
This season, the programme is targeting to support five plots (measuring 39 meters by 16 metres) per household with packages including maize, sorghum, pearl millet, soyabeans, sunflower, ground nuts, vegetables and African peas.
President Mnangagwa said another input support programme spearheaded by traditional chiefs would also be expanded.
“The Zunde RaMambo/IsiphalaSeNkosi Programme has been extended to also cover Headmen and Village Heads. Our traditional leaders are constantly with our people at grassroots level. Hence, my Government will render all possible support to them,” he said.
The Government has indicated its desire to ensure food security, especially at a time when global food supply chains have been disrupted over the past two years by the Covid-19 pandemic, and recently by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.