Midlands targets 410k ha maize production
Gweru (New Ziana) – Midlands province has set a production target of 410 000 hectares of maize during the forthcoming 2022/23 summer cropping season.
This will be an improvement from this season’s target of 392 038 hectares.
The Provincial Acting Director in the Department of Rural Development and Advisory Services, Medeline Magwenzi told a sensitisation meeting of agricultural programmes that the department was also advising farmers to also venture into small grains production to mitigate against shifts in climate conditions.
Some farmers, she said, were still battling to harvest and shell their maize due to weather conditions while lack of mechanisation is forcing farmers to do it manually which is cumbersome as it is labour intensive.
Magwenzi said the province has 7378 ha under the winter crop wheat, a 53 percent increase from last season’s 5257 hectares.
An acute shortage of top dressing fertilisers and herbicides is also a cause for concern and fears are that this could reduce yields. The wheat crop is now at vegetation stage.
During the 2021/22 summer cropping season, government set a target of 2,8 million hectares of maize and traditional grains.
The summer programme objective target is to increase crop production and productivity through the implementation of the key tenets of the Agriculture Recovery Plan.
The plan is anchored on conservation agriculture principles to climate proof the Presidential Input Scheme; provision of inputs; constant supply of key utilities such as power and fuel to farmers and crowding-in the private and financial services sectors.