Urban agriculture booms as Pfumvudza programs starts producing positive results
By Laurence Kanyasa
Farmers in urban areas are optimistic of bumper harvest and food security as the Pfumvudza program has made headway in most areas.
Farmers in Harare Peri- urban say the Pfumvudza program has given them a chance to grow crops on small pieces of land, which their crops are performing at a satisfactory rate.
This has given more famers hope for a major harvest that will secure them in terms of food availability.
“We were given inputs by the government in form of maize seed, sorghum and fertilisers to grow crops and we have seen positive results coming in as we are expecting a sufficient maize harvest and sorghum, “said Anesushe Murungwadi a farmer in Harare’s outer suburbs.
The program was introduced to urban areas as a move to encourage urban farming whilst ensuring food security across the country in all areas, urban or rural.
This follows a workshop held in Chipinge where officials assessed the progress of the program and its impact for the communities.
“Despite having had a tough time having rainfall we had a successful season and we give thanks to the Pfumvudza program for availing drought resistant crops and this is evidence of success thru the program” said Simba Museyamura Pfumvudza beneficiary in Chipinge.
He added that though working on a small piece of land hopes are high that there will be sufficient harvest to lap up to the next farming season.
The Pfumvudza program has major opportunities for many farmers and the extension of this program will see national grain reserves supplemented.
Grain marketing board Manicaland representative Pauline Jani said that they have realised opportunities in urban agriculture through the program and hopes are high that urban farmers will work as tributaries into the grain reserves there by ensuring food security.
Other players in the agricultural sector were sceptical of the program but however many have come to the realisation that this program if properly funded and managed it will have more excellent results in the future.
“We thought this program is a waste of time in urban areas but this season we have seen a lot of good coming out there is actual production,” said Jani
Under the supervision of Agricultural Extension (AGRITEX) officers, farmers have had an opportunity to learn on new farming methods, which are environmental friendly.
“We have had the opportunity of giving information to farmers on conservation agriculture and selection of short term seed varieties which are drought resistant”, said Onward Mbengo an extension officer.
He added that this initiative would lessen the burden on government on sourcing food supplies.
“In past years Government has had to import grain from neighbouring countries but this is set to be a thing of the past,” Mbengo noted.