Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(SUNDAY MAIL ZW) Farmers predict high yields
Sunday, 12 January 2014 00:00
Mercy Bofu

The Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) has expressed confidence that the country will reach its maize production target of 2,2 million tonnes following the favourable rainfall the country has received in recent weeks.

In an interview last week, ZFU vice-president Mr Berean Mukwende said farmers were also geared towards high output on the back of the input support they received from Government.

He, however, encouraged maize producers who are still planting to wind up and shift focus to other food crops.

“We are encouraged by the downpour and we hope that this continues throughout the season so that we achieve our targeted hectarage, especially on maize where we are targeting 2 million tonnes.

“I am sure this is achievable considering the support that farmers got from the Government. Up to now I can confirm that farmers are still receiving fertilisers under the Government scheme.

“We are also encouraging farmers to wind up the planting of food crops like maize since it is now late. Rather, they can concentrate on crops like sugar beans and cow peas.”

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa concurred, saying the rainfall pattern was encouraging.

“Though some low-lying areas were affected by flooding since they were receiving high rainfall daily, we foresee a great future in terms of yields,” he said.

“We are also expecting increased yields for cotton and tobacco. Many farmers are now in the fifth reaping season.”
Over the past few years, the country has harvested low yields owing to erratic rainfall, forcing authorities to turn to grain imports.

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