George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Farmers are optimistic of a good agricultural season buoyed by Government’s climate-proofed agricultural Presidential input scheme popularly known as Pfumvudza.
The optimism has extended to farmers in districts such as Mwenezi, Chivi and Chiredzi that have traditionally fared badly in maize production.
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.
More than 50 percent of farmers who received inputs under Pfumvudza have already planted their crops across the province.
The majority of the crop is at germination to early vegetative stage, while the water planted crop is at the late vegetative stage.
Chiredzi district Agritex officer Mr Tongai Bodi yesterday said 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,” he said.
“Most of the crop is in the germination stage to early vegetative, with our farmers having planted for the past three to four weeks.
“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 continued to receive average to above average rains.
Masvingo provincial Agritex officer Mr Aaron Muchazivepi said most of the farmers who benefited under Pfumvudza in the province 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.”
Mr Muchazivepi challenged farmers to pay particular attention to weather updates from the Meteorological Services 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.”
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.