Let’s adopt sound agro­nomic prac­tices to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

ED­I­TOR — As we pre­pare for the com­ing agri­cul­tural sea­son, there is need to go down to the very ba­sics of agron­omy that can lead to in­creas­ing crop pro­duc­tiv­ity in Zim­babwe. Achiev­ing high yields per unit area hinges on farmer will­ing­ness to adopt sound agro­nomic prac­tices.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity forms the ba­sis of agri­cul­tural sys­tems as it de­ter­mines re­source use ef­fi­ciency and prof­itabil­ity of any farm­ing ven­ture. Farm­ers should have a good un­der­stand­ing of rain fed agri­cul­ture.

Farm­ers should know that the crop fac­tory func­tions ef­fec­tively by cap­tur­ing re­sources from the soil and air. With that in mind farm­ers should be aware of the soil and at­mo­spheric pro­cesses that have an in­ter­ac­tion with a crop from time of sowing or plant­ing un­til that crop is har­vested.

The Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices Depart­ment fore­casted that there will be nor­mal to above nor­mal rain­fall in South­ern Africa. How­ever it is im­por­tant that a farmer has farm spe­cific weather data and this can be achieved by in­vest­ing in small weather sta­tions at the farm.

Em­pha­sis this sea­son should be on pro­duc­tion, which is in­creas­ing yield per unit area. Growth in agri­cul­ture should be driven by in­creased yield per unit area rather than by ex­pan­sion of the cul­ti­vated land.

There is a con­stant need to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of crop pro­duc­tion and this can be through an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of crop re­sponses to a given en­vi­ron­ment. This forms a fun­da­men­tal ba­sis for the de­vel­op­ment of meth­ods for re­al­is­ing in­creases in crop pro­duc­tion ef­fi­ciency.

Farm­ers should sus­tain­ably man­age their own land so as to re­alise the most prof­itable yield from the land year after year. The man­age­ment has a huge bear­ing on crop pro­duc­tion and is a great con­trib­u­tor to sus­tain­able crop pro­duc­tion. Ev­ery farmer has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­cide on the choice of crop (species, va­ri­ety); crop­ping sys­tem and the use of avail­able re­sources be it nat­u­ral from the en­vi­ron­ment and those ap­plied, such as ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter or fer­tilis­ers. Ron­ald Rusere, Via email.

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