Zimbabwe heading for bumper harvest since chaotic land reform


MUTARE – Manicaland could this year record its first good summer crop in three seasons on the back of the good rains being received countrywide.

The province experienced two successive droughts between 2018 and 2020 but has so far received more rain this season that it did the whole of last year.

Although some parts of the province with lighter soils have been affected by leeching and water logging, the majority of the crop, which is at late vegetative stage, is looking good.

Manicaland Agritex head Mrs Phillipa Rwambiwa said the province had 239 150 hectares under the summer crop, 35 percent of which was under the Pfumvudza programme.

“Although it is too early to conclude, our crop is looking good, even in the urban areas and it indicates that we are assured of a better season. The rainfall we have received so far exceeds what we received for the whole of last season,” she said.

She said the Pfumvudza crop was doing exceptionally well across the province where most farmers have started applying top dressing.

Manicaland exceeded the target of 250 000 households under the climate proof agriculture programme with 278 000 households having received inputs. An additional 15 000 households in urban areas of Mutare (10 000) and Makoni (5000) also benefited.

Mrs Rwambiwa said the Pfumvudza crop in both urban and rural areas was thriving with the exception of a few areas that were affected by leeching.

“Farmers who have managed to apply organic manure in areas with lighter soils have a good crop and we are avising them to take advantage of periods when the rain ceases to apply their top dressing. We also urge them to do split application because of the incessant rains we are receiving,” said Mrs Rwambiwa.

She said farmers in areas such as Buhera where there are generally lighter soils should create drainage channels to allow water to flow out of their fields and prevent leeching and water logging. – Herald