Plans un­der­way to train farm­ers in com­mand agri­cul­ture

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

PLANS are at an ad­vanced stage to train farm­ers on farm­ing tech­niques to en­sure max­i­mum yields un­der com­mand agri­cul­ture in the Mid­lands prov­ince.

In an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, Mid­lands Pro­vin­cial Agri­tex of­fi­cer, Mr Peter Chamisa, said while the Gov­ern­ment was com­ing in with in­puts and mar­kets for maize, there was a need to train farm­ers for max­i­mum pro­duc­tion.

He said the prov­ince was tar­get­ing to pro­duce 85 000 tonnes of maize.

Although he did not give statis­tics, Mr Chamisa said maize pro­duc­tion per hectare was fall­ing in the prov­ince, hence the need to train farm­ers to up pro­duc­tion.

“My ex­ten­sion team is ready to train farm­ers in the prov­ince on tech­niques to achieve higher maize yields. The farm­ers need to know how to plant and work on the crop un­til its ready to be har­vested. That way we en­sure max­i­mum pro­duc­tion per hectare be­cause we want to meet the 85 000t tar­get set by the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Mr Chamisa said the prov­ince was tar­get­ing to put 17 000 hectares of land un­der com­mand agri­cul­ture. “I don’t have statis­tics right now but the pro­gramme is go­ing on well, farm­ers are reg­is­ter­ing. The pro­vin­cial prepa­ra­tions are go­ing on well,” he said.

The gov­ern­ment last month un­veiled com­mand agri­cul­ture, a spe­cial pro­gramme on con­tract maize farm­ing.

The pro­gramme, whose aim is to en­sure na­tional food se­cu­rity, was ne­ces­si­tated by the rise in na­tional food in­se­cu­rity from about 12 per­cent in 2011 to 42 per­cent this year.

e $500 mil­lion com­mand agri­cul­ture pro­gramme aims to pro­duce two mil­lion tonnes of maize on 400 000 hectares of land coun­try­wide. — @pchi­tumba1

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