By Fungai Lupande
Government has started availing 18 000 tonnes of maize to Mashonaland Central to alleviate food shortages in areas affected by poor rains during the last farming season.
Each of the province’s 18 constituencies will receive 1 000 tonnes, with places like Mushumbi in Mbire District and Murongwe in Mt Darwin North having started receiving their allocations.
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said some areas in the province, especially in the dry agro-ecological regions, lost their crop during the 2017/ 2018 farming season.
“When the President visited the province recently, we agreed that each of our 18 constituencies benefit 1 000 tonnes of maize. The maize is for everyone, regardless of political affiliation. This is what the President is doing for you because he loves all of you,” said Adv Dinha.
“This year the President availed inputs timeously to allow farmers to plan ahead of the season. This has never happened before. In previous years farmers were given inputs after the farming season.
“There was a lot of disorder. We thank the President, by September 1 everyone must have all the inputs from the Presidential Well-Wishers Inputs Scheme.
“These inputs are meant to assist you in looking after your families. Ten kilogrammes of maize seed, two bags of fertiliser, sorghum and soya beans is enough for 0, 6 hectares ,which will give you 20 bags. I grew up in the rural area and 10 bags were enough for our family for the whole year. This means you will have enough to sell.
“I am happy that this province had good harvest and we still have surplus from the previous farming season. Although 13 percent of the production was destroyed by erratic rains, but we have enough maize for everyone.”
Agritex crops and livestock production officer Mr Stancilae Tapererwa said an auditor will look into the distribution of the inputs to curb corruption. He urged farmers to properly store the inputs to protect them from being destroyed by rats.
“We have a provincial committee overseeing the inputs distributed, which is headed by the provincial administrator Mr Cosmos Chiringa, the committees cascade to ward level.
“After getting inputs, stay close to extension officers and Agritex officials. It is wise to follow proper farming methods,” said Mr Tapererwa.