Conservation agriculture gears for food sustenance.
In order to circumvent the effects of food insecurity compounded by erratic rain patterns,unpredictable climatic changes and uncertain season woes, communal farmers and A2’farmers, mostly women have embarked on Conservation Agriculture popularly known as
“Pfumvudza” in Kwekwe District.
Recently farmers in Sherwood Block near Kwekwe came together at Pritchard Farm owned by Honorable Member of Parliament, Proportional Representative Perseverance Zhou, to be trained on conservation agriculture techniques under government Agriculture Recovery
Program. Most women in Kwekwe district have now gone under conservation agriculture training programs, as women play a major role in food sustenance at household level, which is the major thrust of the program.
From the 33 wards in Kwekwe District, 7 000 farmers have been trained as the training is ongoing until the onset of the rainy season.
“We have so far up to date trained 7 000 farmers in 33 wards and 3 340 are women mostly
n rural areas, where food sustenance is paramount as climate change effects are badly
affecting most households, as rainfall patterns keep changing from season after season.
Women are taking conservation agriculture seriously so as to avert hunger menace and boost
food reserves at household level up to district level”, said Virginia Mare, Kwekwe District Arex
Mare said there are some challenges farmers in Silobela and parts of Zhombe are facing as
the areas have sandy soils, which can cause the dug holes easily be covered with soil before
planting, resulting in farmers digging up the holes again in the process. So far 30 tonnes
of seed and 120 tonnes of Compound D fertilizer and 30 tonnes of seed and 180 tonnes of
Compound D fertilizer have been supplied at Kwekwe and Zhombe Grain Marketing Board
Each plot of maize crop supplies a family of six with grain (maize) for the whole year as a plot yields one tonne of maize or 52 buckets. Crop failure caused by unreliable rainfall pattern in
the district has resulted in most communal and A2 farmers resort to conservation farming
especially in Silobela which has erratic rainfall distribution.
Arex officers in Kwekwe district have also urged farmers in the district to submit their soils samples for testing as Sable Chemicals is providing free soil analysis to all farmers in the
Meanwhile wheat farmers are facing challenges in harvesting their winter wheat crop due to acute shortage of combined harvesters in the district.
” We have five farmers with combined harvesters and 32 farmers without as winter wheat harvesting is due. Kwekwe district needs four combined harvesters to cater for the farmers.
Also our extension officers lack enough transport to visit every farmer in their wards as most motorbikes are dysfunctional. We are waiting for motorbikes promised by the government to enable mobility of our extension officers in wards”_said Mukai Shoko , Kwekwe District Arex Agronomist.