Zimbabwe’s agriculture will recover by 7,3 percent this year, the World Bank has said in its latest country report.
It said after a poor 2012\13 season, agriculture is expected to rebound largely on the back of an expected bumper maize harvest estimated at 1, 2 million tonnes.
“After a very weak 2012-2013 season, agriculture is expected to rebound by 7.3 percent in 2014, largely supported by recovery in maize (to 1.2 million tonnes). The first crop assessment estimates that 1.4 million hectares was planted to maize (18 percent increase from the previous season),” said the bank.
Government has said improvement in maize output in the 2013/14 season will be underpinned by normal rainfall received countrywide and timeous supply of inputs from both the state and private sector.
A total of 1, 6 million households benefitted from the Presidential Agriculture Inputs scheme. The World Bank said tobacco production will also increase bon account of increased planted hectarage.
According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, a total of 103 163 growers planted about 97 982 hectares of tobacco currently being marketed.
The World Bank also projected an increase in cotton production this season.
“Despite a reduction in hectarage, cotton production is expected to register an improvement in 2014, benefiting from improved yields and favorable rains,” it said.
The Government has forecast cotton output to grow from 140 000 tonnes in 2013, to 180 000 tonnes in 2014.
Cotton hectarage declined from 450 000 hectares in the 2011/12 season to 241 849 hectares in the 2012/13 season because fewer farmers grew the crop due to unviable prices offered by local merchants. Cotton farmers switched to other crops such as tobacco that fetched attractively high prices. – See more at: http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-46618.html#sthash.pXrJieF1.dpuf