Thursday, December 27, 2007

(HERALD) ‘Good germination of crops in most areas’

‘Good germination of crops in most areas’
Bulawayo Bureau

There is good germination of crops in most farming areas following the rains that have been falling countrywide. President of the Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs, Chief Fortune Charumbira, yesterday said germination was close to 100 percent in most rural areas. In an interview, he said traditional leaders were generally satisfied with the progress of the agricultural season despite incessant rains in some areas.

"In most areas, the early planted crops recorded a more than 98 percent germination. However, in some areas, some farmers have stopped planting because of the continuous rains," he said.

Most areas in Zimbabwe have been receiving rains for the past three weeks. Chief Charumbira said many farmers were enthusiastic about the season.

"Despite the rains many farmers are still keen on planting and we hope as a country we will be able to meet our targets."

Chiefs, he said, were keen to ensure that the country becomes self-sufficient in food.

"We have been meeting the villagers telling them about Government programmes and the targets that were set for this season. I am happy because in most areas people have indicated that they will be able to meet the one-hectare per family as targeted by the Government."

He said chiefs in cattle ranching provinces were also happy with the rains, as their livestock would have enough pastures and water.

He, however, said the Government needed to put more resources into cattle farming in the same way it was doing for crops.

"Communities from cattle ranching areas are saying they also want to benefit from Government programmes as a way of improving this important sector."

The Government has dubbed this season "The Mother of All Agriculture Seasons" putting in place a number of measures to ensure that the country records a bumper harvest.

Among the measures is the provision of agricultural machinery and implements under the Farm Mechanisation Programme.

The Government is also importing seed and fertilizer to augment local production.

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