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Farmers should now start planting

by Staff reporter
29 Nov 2023 at 05:05hrs | Views
Farmers continuing to receive rains in their areas should now start planting, while those that have not received rains should first consult Agritex officers before embarking on any major activity, Government has said.

This comes after some parts of the country over the weekend received rains, while others experienced some isolated showers.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary Professor Obert Jiri said: "The short message is if they have received rains they should start planting while the long message is that if there are those that have not received the rains, they should consult Agritex officers."

Over the weekend, the Meteorological Services Department said some parts of the country received rains last Tuesday, including Bulawayo Metropolitan, Nyanga, Kariba and Chibero.

The Meteorological Department urged farmers to consult Agritex officers before embarking on any major activity to enhance their productivity.

"Early planting is only recommended for those with means of irrigation. For better advice, please consult your local Agritex officer," said the department.

MSD head of forecasting Mr James Ngoma said thundershowers were expected in Masvingo, which has been mostly sunny, adding that localised moderate rains of 30mm are anticipated in Mashonaland provinces tomorrow.

Tobacco Farmers Union Trust president Mr Victor Mariranyika said it was crucial for tobacco farmers to plant now. Farmers should also ask advice from extension workers on which varieties to plant.

"This is the time to plant so tobacco farmers should fully engage in the planting," he said. "Winter ploughing preserves moisture so farmers should take advantage of that. Farmers without irrigation can water the planted area using buckets. Farmers can also plant maize but it depends with the varieties and regions they live in.''

Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers' Association Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said although farmers are planting the situation is tricky because not all places have received enough rains to plant, adding that it is wise for farmers to stagger planting.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary general Mr Paul Zakariya encouraged farmers to work with extension workers to get informed advice on planting.

‘'It depends with places so there is no blanket advice because places differ," he said.

"So, farmers should rely on technical advice.

"We have two extension workers in the ward so it is good to ask advice from them so that we don't risk of replanting. We are on the ground and we are seeing farmers planting but l urge you to get advice from these experts.''

Farmers in rural and urban areas where soil moisture is reasonable after recent rains recently intensified planting summer crops, while other farmers were ready to plant in dryland areas in anticipation of heavy rains that were predicted by the Meteorological Services Department.

The onset of the rainfall season is when an area receives an amount of 20 millimetres or more of rainfall in about three days and there is no dry spell for the next 10 days.

Maize requires 22 millimetres and above to germinate, and soya beans 30mm minimum and 35mm to be on the safe side.

Farmers need to take advantage of all the rain they do receive even if this is below normal.

The outlook for October this year to March next year is that for the October to December there will be increased chances of normal-to-below normal rainfall for most parts of the country except the greater part of Matebeleland North, parts of Bulawayo Metropolitan, parts of Midlands and parts of Mashonaland West, which have increased chances of below normal-to-normal rainfall.

Source - The Herald