Marondera (New Ziana) – Mashonaland East Province, one of the country’s main food producing regions, exceeded its maize cropping hectarage in the current 2020/2021 farming season, an agricultural official has said.
The province had targeted to put 205 000 hectares under maize, the country’s staple food, but indications point to an even bigger hectarage for the crop.
Mashonaland East provincial agriculture extension officer, Leonard Munamati said the region had put a total of 209 000 hectares under maize.
“Our farmers – from A1, A2, Old Resettlement, small scale and those in the peri-urban areas played varying roles in helping us surpass our maize target. They have been working closely with our officers and are being taught on good farming methods,” he said.
“This season is promising to be more productive than the last one. The bulk of crops in the province are at the vegetative phase and those that were planted early are at the reproductive stage. The quality of most crops is satisfactory, but unfortunately, there are areas where there have been incessant rains and that has resulted in weed pressure,” he added.
Munamati attributed farmers’ success to the good rains the country was receiving this year compared to past years, and the strong, varied support from government for the sector.
Early projections indicate the country will produce more than two million tonnes of maize, far more than it needs for domestic consumption.
For a number of years, the country was forced to import the staple food due to consecutive droughts that hit the region.