Intwasa is the future

By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo

FARMERS in Gwanda District of Matabeleland South say they are geared for the
summer cropping season, following the rains that fell last week.

Preparations for the 2023/24 summer cropping season are already underway with
the Government urging farmers to scale up the adoption of climate-proof agriculture
methods such as Intwasa/Pfumvudza to guarantee a good harvest.

Weather experts have said early indications point towards a suppressed rainfall
amounts during this summer season, hence the need to use new farming

Matabeleland South acting Provincial Director Agriculture Rural Development
Services, Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu, said farmers have already started preparing their

“We urge farmers to plant high-yielding seed varieties. They should invest in short
season drought tolerant crop varieties, as well as traditional grains.

“Farmers are encouraged to invest in traditional grains and adoption of hybrid
drought tolerant seeds as we move to counter the effects of climate change,” said

“Izulu selisina kasigebheni amagodi sifake i (lime), umquba kanye lengubo
yomhlabathi esithi ngesilungu mulch. (Now that the rains have begun, farmers must
work on their Intwasa plots and dig holes before filling them up with manure, lime
and mulch),” added Ndlovu.

Asked about the animal draught power, Ndlovu said the effects of drought were
already taking their toll.

“Due to depleted pastures, animals are in a bad shape and too weak to be used as
draught power. Farmers must buy supplementary feed for the animals if they want to
use them for farming,” said Ndlovu.

Sibangane Siziba from Insindi resettlement area is one of the farmers, who has
already prepared their fields.

“Farming is a gamble, and I don’t take changes. For the past three years, I have
been utilising the first rains and this has worked for me.

“I have done land tilling after receiving the first rains and waiting to plant my seeds
with the second rains,” Siziba said.

Another farmer who is practising conservation farming said she does not need cattle
or donkeys for farming.

“I have adopted the new farming technique, Intwasa, which has paid dividends for
me as I always get a bumper harvest.

“It was difficult during the first phase of digging holes on my plot, but now it’s a
matter of re-doing the holes and feeding them with mulch properly.

“I do not need any draught power, because I use my hands,” said Sithembile Nkomo.
However, the Government has applauded farmers for the strict adherence to
conservation agriculture principles which is set to put the country in pole position to
attaining a bumper harvest.

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