From George Maponga in Masvingo
Most farmers, here including those in traditionally drought-prone districts such as Chivi and Chiredzi are reveling in a promising agricultural season on the back of the Pfumvudza scheme which has set them on course to a good farming season.
There is increased enthusiasm amongst farmers across the province who are optimistic of a bumper harvest thanks to the Pfumvudza scheme which was introduced by Government and is climate proof.
Traditionally, districts such as Mwenezi, Chivi and Chiredzi have fared badly in maize production but the advent of the climate proof Pfumvudza scheme has changed the situation with most of the early planted maize crop in those areas in very good shape.
The crop situation in areas such as Chiredzi, Chivi and Mwenezi is in good condition with more than 50 percent of farmers who received inputs under Pfumvudza having planted their crops across the province.
The majority of the crop is in the germination to early vegetative stage while the water planted crop is in the late vegetative stage.
Mr Tongai Bodi the Chiredzi district Agritex officer yesterday disclosed that most farmers across the district had planted after rains fell in almost all areas.
“The crop situation is very good across Chiredzi with the majority of our farmers busy planting after rains fell in almost all areas here. Most of the crop is in the germination stage to early vegetative as our farmers having been planting for the past three to four weeks,” said Mr Bodi.
“We also have isolated farmers who benefited under Pfumvudza and prepared their plots and embarked on water planting before rains started falling, their crop is in very good condition in the late vegetative stage.”
Mr Bodi expressed confidence that most farmers who embraced Pfumvudza would do well if the country continues to receive average to above average rains. Masvingo provincial Agritex officer Mr Aaron Muchazivepi said most of the farmers who benefited under Pfumvudza in Masvingo were doing well.
According to Mr Muchazivepi 50 percent of the farmers across the province had planted their plots while planting was in progress in other areas. He urged those who have not planted to have done so by the end of this week.
“Most planting should be done by this week as we have received effective rains in most parts of the province,” said Mr Muchazivepi.
“Those who planted with the first rains or did water planting for their Pfumvudza plots are at late vegetative stage.”
He challenged farmers to pay particular attention to weather updates from the Meteorological Department and work closely with extension officers to ensure a bumper harvest.
“We are happy that almost all parts of the province have received rains now and planting is in full swing but for those farmers who did water planting their maize crop is in very good condition in the late vegetative stage” said Mr Muchazivepi.
More than 200 000 households received inputs from Government under the Pfumvudza scheme in Masvingo with a similar number of farmers undergoing training on land preparing from holing, mulching and planting.