Home » Business » ZIMBABWE GOVT BEGINS REGISTERING FARMERS FOR MAIZE PRODUCTION SCHEME

The Zimbabwe government says it has started registering farmers who wish to participate in its 500 million US dollars three-year maize production scheme aimed at producing two million tonnes of maize from 400,000 hectares of land beginning with the 2016/17 summer cropping season.

The scheme is part of wider measures which the government is taking to boost food self-sufficiency and reduce grain imports.

Zimbabwe had in pasts season failed to produce enough of the staple maize crop because of a number of reasons, made worse in the past cropping season by an El Nino-induced drought which has that left more than four million people in need of food aid.

Deputy Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet Justin Mupamhanga said here Thursday that both large and small-scale farmers with irrigation infrastructure and potential irrigable areas were being targeted to participate in the programme.

"The programme will support, where required, with tillage and production inputs such as fertilizer, seed and chemicals on a cost recovery basis," he told a media conference.

The Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (Agritex) Department had been tasked with the farmer registration process, said Mpamhanga, who could not immediately reveal the number of farmers required for the programme to succeed and how many had registered so far.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is tasked with spearheading the programme, said at its launch last month that farmers who take part in the scheme would sign performance contracts under which they would be expected to produce not less than five tons per hectare which would be sold to the government.

The farmers would be permitted to sell any excess output as well as keep the remainder for their own consumption.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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