Pre-planting prices introduced for small grains


Harare (New Ziana) – Pre-planting prices for traditional grains will be introduced at the beginning of next month to promote increased production, a cabinet minister has said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists at this week’s post cabinet press briefing that Presidential inputs to farmers in the country’s 460 irrigation schemes would be availed on time, borehole drilling enhanced, and village business units and veldt management established.

Mutsvangwa said Cabinet approved a report on the 2023 summer cropping plan, and additional measures to climate proof agricultural production to increase productivity from Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Anxious Masuka in support of current positive sector trends.

These measures are in line with the summer cropping plans and state of preparedness cabinet approved in May in order for the nation to achieve national food, feed and edible oils self-sufficiency with a target of 3 040 000ha for strategic crops whose yield is expected to be 3 782 658 metric tonnes.

Mutsvangwa said cabinet noted that although the country has enough grain stocks for the next two seasons, the sensitivity analysis for the 2023/2024 season pointed towards reduced crop production.

“Accordingly, Cabinet has put in place robust measures encompassing irrigation and agricultural climate-proofing in order to maintain increased production,” she said. “In line with Government priorities in the agricultural sector, the National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme will be expanded, with more banks contracting increased hectarages.”

This is expected to be achieved through climate-proofing, expanded moisture enhancer demonstrations; alignment of crops grown with agro-ecological regions; grain swaps with the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) promoting the production of traditional grain in regions 4 and 5; and providing weather-indexed and Area/Yield insurance for smallholder farmers under the Pfumvudza Programme.

The measures also include Vision 2030 Agricultural Livelihoods Tracker (VALT) that tracks the upliftment of households and livelihoods through agricultural and rural development programmes.

With financial support from the African Development Bank, the government will increase the percentage of traditional grains seed availability by ensuring that ARDA and GMB package standard traditional grains as seed for the 2023/2024 season.

New Ziana

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