Mashonaland West leads in maize production

Mashonaland West has the largest hectarage put under maize, having 485 000ha out of 1,9 million planted countrywide.

A weekly update on Agricultural Advisory and Rural Development Services (Aards) showed that this was also way above the provincial target of 360 000ha. 

So far, farmers had completed planting maize, tobacco, cotton and soya, while others were still planting sugarbeans, sunflower and some traditional grains.

Experts have urged them to speed up planting of these crops to ensure that they catch up with time.

Statistics from the department shows that Mashonaland West has planted 485 421ha of maize compared to 273 064 last year followed by Midlands which has a total hectarage of 300 708ha compared to 275 799ha last year and Manicaland planted 285 879ha compared to 253 681ha last year.

Farmers are optimistic that this year’s production will be high following good rains that are being received in most parts of the country.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) president, Dr Shadreck Makombe, said there were chances of getting a bumper harvest because of good rains received so far.

Farmers were well prepared and well informed for this season.

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said there was huge progress in planting. 

She said they were anticipating a bumper harvest following the good rains accurately predicted by the Meteorological Services Department. 

Former Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union vice president Mr Edward Dune said the future of maize was good following private player participation which was critical in boosting farming.

“The future is bright if farmers continue to be paid in foreign currency,” he said. 

“We are optimistic that next year we can achieve the target if private players also come to partner Government in farming. This is critical for our country because food security is an important part of our lives, we must stock up our reserves.” 

Government programmes such as Pfumvudza/Intwasa, the National Enhanced Agriculture Productivity Scheme (NEAPS) and interventions by the private sector and the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority were set to enhance production of all crops this season, ensuring greater food production, greater production of oil seed and more tobacco. 

This ensures food self-sufficiency, far more local raw materials in other products, and greater exports, along with more income for farmers and growing rural wealth.

The country requires 2,2 million tonnes of maize for human and livestock consumption and the expected more than three million tonnes will rebuild the reserves run down last year after a modest season and could even be enough to allow some resumption of exports. – Heralf

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