The Member of Parliament for Gokwe Central Constituency, Davison Masvisvi has urged farmers to be alert to the effects of climate change and follow the Pfumvudza initiative that seeks to alleviate drought in rural areas.
The Pfumvudza program is a Presidential Scheme that seeks to uplift the robust agricultural sector through the provision of basic farming inputs like fertilizers, maize seeds, and small grain seedlings as well as the construction of permanent water sources with the chief motive of revamping Small Irrigation Rehabilitation Programs
The Pfumvudza program is in response to climate change which has heavily impacted the country’s agriculture environment with Gokwe among the affected communities in Zimbabwe which at the moment is in a crisis of food availability.
In an interview, Masvisvi there is a need for the community to continue implementing the Pfumvudza initiative to boost agricultural production.
“I strongly urge farmers in Gokwe Constituency to vigilantly stick to Pfumvudza programs which are the panacea to food challenges that the community is undergoing. Agriculture is among the country’s fourteen pillars of National Development Strategy One that will go a long way in sustaining the developmental pursuits of the country in line with the vision 2030 of the country,” he said.
He further articulated that the government should engage the community of Gokwe so that it finds out ways to assist people with food staff in order to survive as the country is heading towards the 2023 harmonized elections.
“I kindly request the government to chip in and assist the Gokwe community with food to survive. As for now, there are a number of places in Gokwe that neither received rainfall nor very low rainfall so they are in need of urgent help,” said Masvisvi.
Speaking in an interview with this publication, a small-scale farmer in Gokwe John Mapfungautsi said that there was a need to address food shortages in Gokwe.
“…we are truly in a crisis of food, the issue of climate change plunged a lot of hardships. We did not receive adequate rainfall for farming. Our livestock is also suffering. We kindly ask for assistance so that we can survive,” he said.
“I think if the government can provide us with some finances to start running some projects like poultry, goat farming and keeping some broilers so that we can cope with the current environmental conditions,” said Rolland Tirivacho a Small Holder Irrigation farmer.
Meanwhile, the Gokwe Grain Marketing Board Deport Manager, Joseph Sanyangori said that farmers in Gokwe are facing a dilemma as they are yet to receive payments for the cotton they sold to GMB.
“The people from this community usually rely on cotton for cash while we keep our maize for food. What has happened is that we have not received payments for cotton delivered in the previous season and we have again delivered for this season and still nothing” he said.
Gokwe is popularly known for cotton growing and it is a reliable source country’s cotton but due to the effects of climate change, cotton production had dwindled.
The Chief Director in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development, Professor Albert Jiri said that there is a need for farmers to keep up with the Pfumvudza drive saying that it will help the country improve its food production.
“The effects of climate change have severely affected the Gokwe community such that cotton production got diminished. I advise farmers to keep sticking to the Pfumvudza program which the government under the Ministry of Lands is trying to implement in order to eradicate poverty. The Pfumvudza program is a strong weapon that the country uses to fight against poverty. The program will go a long way in sustaining the agricultural developmental pursuits of the country,” said Jiri.