It’s not the right time to plant: Gvt warns farmers


HARARE-Government has warned farmers against rushing to plant crops on the basis of the recent rains witnessed across the country.

In a statement in the possession of The Midweek Watch, the Agricultural Ministry said farmers should take advantage of the rain showers to prepare and speed up tillage of their land.

“The Meteorological Services Department advises that this is not the start of the rain season. We advise farmers to use these rains to speed up land preparation (holing for pfumvudza/ intwasa and accelerating tillage for those practicing conventional farming).

“Farmers are discouraged from planting unless they have adequate irrigation,” reads part of the statement.

The Ministry also advised farmers not to harvest the wheat until the moisture content is at the optimum range.

“We expect weather to clear soon so wheat farmers may expect a better assessment of the crop. Unless a farmer has access to drying facilities, no harvesting is advisable until the moisture content is in the acceptable range,” added Professor Obert Jiri, Agricultural Ministry Permanent Secretary.

Earlier this year, the MSD predicted that the country will receive normal to below- normal rainfall because of EL Nino weather phenomenon which could severely impact the amount of rains the country will get.

As a result, Zimbabwe is likely to face extreme drought in the coming season due to the EL Nino weather conditions which will severely compromise food security and economic growth.

However, the Government has put up a raft of measures to mitigate the climate change impact, by increasing traditional cropping to 700 000 hectares in the next summer cropping season as well as accelerating irrigation rehabilitation.

Above that, farmers have been also been encouraged to grow shot season variety crops, adopt conservation farming models as well as having stronger focus on digitalisation and adopt climate proofing like Pfumvudza.

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