Farming/Agriculture

Masvingo surpasses 50% wheat hectarage

Roseline Mutare

Masvingo – Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development in Masvingo says over 50% of the targeted 5 000h of wheat has been achieved.

 This comes as farmers race to capitalize on the extended planting window period, now closing on June 14, 2024 from 31 May.

The Ministry’s Provincial Director, Caleb Mahoya told The Midweek Watch that farmers received inputs slightly late but are now actively planting with significant progress as some inputs are coming through the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA ) in a joint venture inputs scheme with farmers.

“To optimize yields, the Ministry advises farmers to adopt best practices, including reduced tillage, increased seed rates (140-150kg per ha), and planting of short-season varieties, as usual extension services are available to farmers at any given time,” said Mahoya.

“With Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA) and the Agricultural Finance Corporation,(AFC) mechanization department support, farmers can access tillage services. Prompt reports for quick action is urged for those with services issues like electricity and water,” he said.

He emphasized that, not planting after receiving inputs is considered a serious offense, hence the Ministry encourages farmers to seize this opportunity and plant before the deadline.

The winter wheat crop in Masvingo Province is at 39% germination stage, Mahoya told The Midweek Watch.

In an exclusive interview, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Professor Obert Jiri said with the extension of dates they are expecting to reach their target county-wide.

“Our target for winter wheat country-wide is 120 000 ha, over 93 000 have been planted in all provinces and we anticipate to reach the target by 14 June, and encourage farmers to ensure that they protect their crop and those who haven’t planted to do so, ” said Prof Jiri.

This progress bodes well for Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, and the extended window offers a welcome reprieve for farmers. As the planting season gains momentum, the country is poised for a bumper harvest, said Prof Jiri.

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