Farmers start preps for summer cropping
FARMERS have started preparations for the 2016/17 summer cropping season with most of them calling for small-scale irrigation equipment to supplement rainfall.
Some farmers exhibiting at the Harare Agricultural Show said they were aware of climate change and its effects and therefore, were willing to venture into irrigation to produce high yields even under drought conditions.
They said they had water sources at their farming areas but did not have the equipment to fully irrigate.
Kadoma farmer Mrs Esket Size said she could register high profits if she starts using irrigation.
“Suppliers can come to us and offer loans with affordable terms and interest rates. Drip irrigation is ideal and my wish is to venture into winter maize production. With irrigation, one is guaranteed of high profits and this makes it easy to hire labour.
“I have started land preparations and am waiting for the rainfall update from the experts.
“Farmers are hopeful and they do not wait for the rainfall update to start preparing or stop farming because of a prediction of a drought,” she said.
Seke farmer Mrs Rudo Chinembera said she has started land preparations.
“Application of manure in the fields is underway although I am yet to buy seed. The challenge we are facing is that sometimes we get payments for our produce late and we will not be able to carry out land preparations timely. We rely on hiring tractors and we pay cash up front and this may affect our preparations, she said.
Glendale farmer Mrs Mary Mapfirakupa said farming operations were being hampered by climate change.
She said climate change had been brought by the erosion of indigenous culture due to westernisation.
“We now have consecutive droughts and we are getting low yields. It is because of incest, not obeying important days like izilo. “We should go back to our culture and start performing rain making ceremonies,” she said.