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Good harvest in Matabeleland expected despite erratic rains

by Byo24NEWS
12 Jan 2011 at 14:40hrs | Views
Farmers in Matabeleland are optimistic of good harvests despite erratic rainfall in some districts.

In separate interviews on Monday, Agritex officials from the two provinces urged farmers to continue planting short season varieties.

Matabeleland North provincial Agritex officer Mr Dumisani Nyoni expressed satisfaction with farming progress, adding farmers were busy working in the fields. "Although the rains delayed in some parts of the province, we remain optimistic that farmers will receive good yields," said Mr Nyoni.

"So far everything is progressing well and farmers are busy doing their work in the fields. We are also happy that some parts of the province that had remained dry for some time have of late received rains and we still look forward to a bumper harvest," he said.

Matabeleland South provincial Agritex officer, Mr Bernard Sibanda, said the province was affected by an erratic rainfall pattern, adding that some districts had not started planting because of ineffective rains.

"Several districts failed to plant earlier because the rains came late, but we urge farmers to use the remaining time wisely and continue planting," said Mr Sibanda.

"I am happy that most parts of the province received significant rains at the weekend and the Meteorological Services Department has assured that the nation would receive good rains. Planting is in full force as we speak and some farmers are replanting because their crops did not germinate well. We strongly urge farmers to continue planting up to the end of January and some could even go up to mid-February.

"Temperatures usually drop from March onwards and there is still room for crops to mature even in May. Farmers should not lose hope because they can still reap something within that time frame."

Mr Sibanda, however, said areas such as Insiza, Esigodini and Matobo had received good rains and some crops in those districts were at tasselling stage.

He said the province had received overwhelming input support from the Government and the donor community.

"I want to pay tribute to the input schemes and as a province we are happy with the support. Farmers benefited from the Presidential Seed Input Facility, the subsidised Government input scheme and other facilities from non-governmental organisations," he said.

Matabeleland South province has over the years been hit by persistent droughts that have resulted in poor harvests and subsequent food shortages.

The Meteorological Services Department has forecast that there would be good rains in the 2010-11 farming

Source - Byo24NEWS