2020/2021 farming season: Govt planning for the worst

With Zimbabwe having come out of two seasons of consecutive droughts, the government says it is planning for the worst with regards the 2020/2021 farming season set to begin around October this year.

Erratic and poor rainfall received during the previous cropping seasons has been blamed for the droughts the country has experienced.

Deputy Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister, Vangelis Haritatos, told Parliament this week that the government was planning for the worst.

He was responding to Bindura South legislator, Remigious Matangira’s question in Parliament Wednesday on the prospects of the impending farming season.

“Traditionally, when we look at weather patterns, we look towards the October/November cycle, so at this stage, we have just come out of two seasons of consecutive droughts,” said Haritatos.

“So as a Ministry, we are planning for the worst therefore that is why we are shifting towards climate smart agriculture because it is a necessary must. We have to plan for the worst and anything that comes that is any better than that is just a bonus to us.”  

He added: “We have to certainly plan for the lives of our people and our nation. We have food security at our hands and food and nutrition security at our hands too Hon. Speaker. We cannot play with that and therefore, we are planning for the worst.” 

Haritatos said preparations for the summer cropping season were already at an advanced stage.  

“In fact Hon. Speaker Sir, we started the preparations as early as April of this year,” he explained. 

“We have two schemes on board.  As you know, there is the Presidential Input Scheme which is almost complete in terms of procurement of inputs and then we have the Command Agriculture Scheme.  The Command Agriculture Scheme falls under the financial institutions but Hon.

Speaker Sir, with regards to the Presidential Scheme we have slightly changed the design of the Presidential Input Scheme to ensure that we add what we call the Pfumvudza (conservation farming) concept. The Pfumvudza concept is climate smarting our agriculture.  This is certainly a requirement for us to be sustainable as a nation.”

He said support for the conservation farming would only go to those farmers who have already prepared their mulching.

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