Com­mand agri­cul­ture farm­ers start plant­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Elita Chik­wati

FARM­ERS con­tracted un­der the Gov­ern­ment’s spe­cialised im­port sub­sti­tute maize (Com­mand Agri­cul­ture) have started plant­ing with oth­ers in­ten­si­fy­ing land prepa­ra­tions.

A sur­vey of prov­inces has shown that all the farm­ers who have planted have ir­ri­ga­tion fa­cil­i­ties, while dry­land farm­ers were ei­ther col­lect­ing in­puts or fi­nal­is­ing land prepa­ra­tions.

Agri­cul­ture, Mech­a­ni­sa­tion and Ir­ri­ga­tion De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Joseph Made, con­firmed that farm­ers had started plant­ing.

“Most farm­ers have fin­ished har­vest­ing wheat and in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of plant­ing of maize is un­der­way. We’re also an­tic­i­pat­ing rains so even those un­der dry­land can start plant­ing. There is gen­eral progress and most farm­ers who had wheat have since cleared their fields,” he said.

In Mashona­land Cen­tral, farm­ers have so far planted 380 hectares of maize and part of the crop has ger­mi­nated and is at three-leaf stage.

Mashona­land Cen­tral pro­vin­cial Agri­tex of­fi­cer, Mr Stan­cilae Taper­erwa, said plant­ing was un­der­way.

“Farm­ers with an ir­ri­gated crop are plant­ing and some whose crop has ger­mi­nated are wait­ing for her­bi­cides. Those with a dry­land crop are yet to start plant­ing,” he said.

In Mata­bele­land North 200 hectares of maize have been planted as farm­ers wait for seed.

Mata­bele­land South agri­tex of­fi­cer, Mr Judiya Ncube, said farm­ers were still col­lect­ing in­puts and putting last touches to their land prepa­ra­tions.

He said farm­ers were re­ly­ing on More Food for Africa Brazil trac­tors and some were hav­ing chal­lenges as they had to pay up­front be­fore they could use the tillage fa­cil­i­ties.

“Farm­ers are cur­rently con­cen­trat­ing on land prepa­ra­tions. They’re sourc­ing tillage equip­ment on their own and some can­not rely on Brazil More Food for Africa pro­gramme as cash is needed up­front,” he said.

In Mid­lands farm­ers with ir­ri­ga­tion fa­cil­i­ties have started plant­ing.

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