January 10, 2024

Farmers defy drought threat, prepare 12m Pfumvudza plots

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DESPITE the late start to the present cropping season, farmers have exhibited extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity by preparing an unprecedented 11 513 134 Pfumvudza plots said Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services (ARDAS) acting director of crop production Mr Leonard Munamati yesterday.

“The first half of the 2023-2024 season so far has been normal to below normal in terms of rainfall received but we have a new record of Pfumvudza plots that were prepared compared to those prepared last season.”

He also reported that 1,2 million hectares of maize have been planted with traditional grain sitting on 249 633 hectares.

Mr Munamati further explained that a lot of land preparation had been done in preparation of this farming season and commended farmers for a job well done during a difficult season like this one.

Mr Munamati also took time to applaud tobacco farmers for their ability to adapt and maximise productivity even under challenging circumstances

“It is also interesting to note that tobacco is doing very well despite the fact that farmers were a bit late in transplanting their seedlings but they have already done over 70 percent of the target with 103 652 hectares planted under the crop,” he commented.

Looking ahead, Mr Munamati advised farmers to capitalise on the remaining planting period and the current rainfall to further enhance their harvests.

He advised farmers to increase their hectarages of traditional grains such as sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet and many others in the remaining few days. The farmers must also diversify their crops by embracing alternative options such as sweet potatoes and African peas.

Mr Munamati urged farmers to wind up their planting activities adding that they should remember to choose ultra-short season varieties even for traditional grains so that they can use their fast growing capabilities to make up for the lost time for growth caused by the drought.

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