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🌽 New farming method brings hope to farmers in Southern Africa

🌽 New farming method brings hope to farmers in Southern Africa

Pfumvudza is a conservation agriculture practice emphasizing intensifying production on a smaller unit area rather than spreading fewer inputs over a large piece of land.

Khumbu Muleya
Khumbu Muleya

Harare, Zimbabwe. In recent years, farmers in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe not spared, have fallen victims to climate change-induced adverse weather effects such as drought. This, in-turn, negatively affected crop production leading to food shortages at the household level.

To offset the effects of climate change-induced drought, Zimbabwe recently launched a new climate-proof farming method known as Pfumvudza or Intwasa in the local language to maximize productivity per unit area. The program is mainly targeting small scale farmers or communal farmers in the country.

Pfumvudza is a conservation agriculture practice emphasizing intensifying production on a smaller unit area rather than spreading fewer inputs over a large piece of land. Its core underlying principles are minimum soil disturbance (dig holes where one plants only), moisture conservation (holes collecting water plus mulching), and crop rotation to manage pests and diseases.

Under good implementation, a 39 by 16-meter plot can yield a minimum of a ton of maize against an average of 480kg per hectare under the conventional farming method for small scale farmers.

Sadza or Pap (maize meal thick porridge) is Zimbabwe's staple food. To further boost food production under the Pfumvudza Program, farmers in Zimbabwe are provided with free inputs by the government and other players. The inputs include 50kg ammonium nitrate, 50kg of compound D fertilizer, 50kg maize seed, 2kg traditional grains, and a kit for the fall armyworm per beneficiary.

Some farmers in the Southern African country have since received the said inputs in preparation for the 2020/21 cropping season which is now around the corner.
With prospects of good rains high in Southern Africa in the coming season, farmers are generally optimistic about a bumper harvest next year.

Image: A plot prepared for planting under Pfumvudza in Zimbabwe


πŸ—³ Since democracy is crucial in a fact-based optimistic world... we remind our readers of the democratic status of the countries we write about:

Zimbabwe has a Global Freedom Score of 29 and has the status Partly Free.

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