First My Gokwe Media is not against a welfare state where by the state, marketing institutions and civil organisations give free inputs to the people. It is not rather against the results of such interventions looking at the agricultural sector in the whole Gokwe community.

Gokwe Community was much celebrated for the production not of cotton alone, but other cereals such as maize and sourghum, legumes such as groundnuts and roundnuts, then some pulses such as cowpeas, sunflower and sweat potatoes, all grown in a commercial scale.

Cotton companies free inputs scheme

Beginning 2018, there was a deliberate attempt first by the cotton industry to destroy the productivity of Gokwe and create a dependency syndrome.

The free input scheme by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) is a union of a goat and a hyena. Its implication is that the farmer is tied to the dictates of the input provider. In actual fact it’s not a free input scheme but rather a bondage input scheme.

The farmer is slowly bonded to the company. He no longer have a market choice and power over his/her produce.

The company becomes free from competitors and can dictate the market prize.

Like now the farmers abandoned the production of all other crops and began to grow the ‘free cotton seed.’ The hope was to buy other produce after harvest using the money they obtain from the sale of cotton. This was the reality of the 2018/9 season. Farmers who grew cotton bought maize and other crops.

Little did they knew that 2019/20 season was a curse? Likewise they focused on cotton production at the expense of other crops. In the twist of things, cotton companies gave groceries.

Thanks farmers enjoyed rice, flower, cooking oil, salt and beans. Little did they know they don’t have enough grains in store? Little did they knew that they produced their own oil from sunflower? Little did they knew that the local oil industry have been destroyed? Little did they knew that they used to buy these commodities in bulk from a suppliers of own choice.

The system also destroys the local retail industry. These local industries and retail shops are by the same farmers and they also provided employment to their children. Same companies are also destroying the hardware industry.

This means rural urban growth have been crippled not ruling out the fact that same people have been affected by COVID-19. It can only make sense when one takes into account the growth at which centres such as Chitekete, Nemangwe, Manoti, Masakadza, Mtora, Chinyenyetu and other growth points in Gokwe not to mention Gokwe Town itself.

Government’s Pfumvudza

A great blessing as it sounds in the Agricultural Extention Officer’s toung.

Sweet it sounds: 2kg maize/ sorghum seed, 2mm × 2mm × 2mm × 2mm × 2mm × 1.6m composite/manure (by the farmer). Mulch 12m × 12m × 1.5m (by the farmer), lime 12kgs, compound D and ammonium nitrate 16kgs each  and number 5&8 fertiliser cup. All the inputs are freely given by the government, serve for the organic provided by the farmer. It’s really a blessing.

The farmer will expect a pump harvest. He will dig 56 rows, 28 hole per row, and 56 plants of maize or 140 plants of sorghum per row. In return this means a 20 litter full bucket of grains per row making a total of 56 tins for the whole plot. This is theoretically sweet and attractive in one’s ears.

In reality, Pfumvudza is a curse to the Gokwe Community.  HE President ED Mnangagwa announced USD 51 million placed on agricultural mechanisation, while SB Moyo placed it at USD58 Million. Whatever, the true figure it may be, no one from Gokwe is entittled to such an amount? Theirs is pfumvudza and they don’t fit under mechanisation – they deserve a digging hoe not a tractor, combine harvester, planters and fertilizer spreaders.

So far every farm has a potion dug for Pfumvudza. The whole farm has been ignored and left to lie idle. We are talking of Gokwe where a single farmer used to produce more than 100 bales of cotton, 30 tonnes of maize and nearly a tonne groundnuts in addition to other crops. Such a farmer deserves not Pfumvudza but rather a mechanisation equipment. Thus, to such a farmer Pfumvudza is a curse not a blessing.

Another thing to consider is the size of the family. 56 tins of grains are worth for 56 months for a single person. Yet, nearly 80% of the present Gokwe families are either extended or polygamous families. Yet, the whole family of more than 10 people is wasting energy and time on 56 holes hoping for manner harvest. It’s really funny and unrealistic.

On the other hand, Pfumvudza is not a bad initiative. It’s a noble idea its noble but a lot of things have to be taken into consideration for example, family size and family agricultural background. One would find out that there are those who deserve and some who deserve not.

It’s a challenge to the people of Gokwe to choose what is right or good for them. As it stands Pfumvudza is geared for success for the government but will it be successful to the farmers? Soon there will be green shows and exhibitions for success but will the yield satisfy the family.

Again there is need to expect a compromise on the success. Since mechanical methods are going to be used, the reality part of it will be noticed on the weeding. No plough or drought power will be applied or used regardless of the fact that every person have one. This weeding is even more serious in December and January, a time when most families will be starving. Where will they get energy to dig all that land without applying modern means?


The cotton companies free input schemes are a form of a smooth face of slavery and bondage to the farmer. At the same time Pfumvudza is one of the greatest reversals of the progress made from Iron Age to the modern agricultural revolution. The two have come to paralise the development of the Gokwe rural economies and industrialisation.

I rest my case and wait to see the end of the 2020/21 farming season.

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