Plans underway to train farmers in command agriculture
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