Chivi (New Ziana) – Farmers in Chivi district on Wednesday pleaded with the government to provide them with more top dressing fertilizer to save their maize crop that has been affected by leaching following recent, persistent heavy rains.
Areas in Chivi North district that includes wards 1 and 2 are experiencing heavy rains, and farmers now urgently require to re-apply top-dressing fertilizer due to leaching.
But the fertilizer is both expensive and in short supply.
“As farmers, we are pleading for assistance with fertilizer from the government since our maize crops are affected by rain that is continuously raining every day. Most of our fields have sandy soils and the growth of the maize has been affected and without fertilizer, I think we might not make it this year and we are going to produce poor yields,” an affected farmer, Simon Purazeni, said.
“I have applied (top dressing)fertilizer but there is no change since most of the fertilizer was washed away so we still need more fertilizer to overcome the problem that is facing us.”
Tafadzwa Katazo from Ward 2 said the fertiliser he had secured for this year’s farming season had turned out to be insufficient because of leaching.
“My field still needs more fertilizer and the problem is I don’t have enough money to buy more fertilizer and the prices at the local shops are extortionate. A bag of AN fertilizer costs US$45 and that’s a lot of money,I can’t afford it so I am begging for the government to assist us so that we can produce better yields at the end of the season,” he said.
The farmers’ requests for second top-dressing of their crop is echoed by Agritex officials in the area, who say this could rescue the maize crop as it was still in good condition.