The government has launched the 2017 tillage programme which seeks to improve agricultural production among communal farmers during the 2017/2018 summer cropping season.

The launch focused on four wards in Bubi district as a pilot project before it is rolled out to the rest of the country.

The tillage programme was rolled out last year in Bubi district ward one covering 26 hectares which yielded 32.75 tonnes of maize.

In ward ten, 147 hectares was covered which yielded 158.5 tonnes of maize while ward twelve harvested 90 tonnes from 44 hectares.

Ward 14 had the largest returns of 186 tonnes from 155 hectares.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Vice President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko said the programme which falls under the Presidential Input Scheme is already bringing positive results which are evident from the previous agricultural season.

“The programme we are doing is a tillage programme and is marking the beginning of the farming season in this district. I am confident that everyone harvested a lot of maize and as a country we got a lot of maize. Trucks are flocking to GMB to deliver some maize,” he said.

Under the scheme, those who can source funds provide fuel for four hectares per household, while the vulnerable who include child headed families, widows, the disabled as well as vulnerable war veterans will be assisted with fuel for the tillage programme.

The target for this year is to cover at least 750 communal farmers, over 2000 hectares and an assessment is expected to be carried out before the programme is rolled out to the rest of the country.