By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo
MATABELELAND SOUTH – FARMERS in Gwanda District and the province have started preparing their fields in readiness for the 2022/2023 farming season.
Most of the farmers are utilising the current drizzles and light rains experienced during the past week.
When Ilanga news crew visited Gwanda communal areas, farmers were busy preparing their Intwasa/Pfumvudza plots.
The province is set to till 57 000 hectares (ha) with an expected yield of 57 000 metric tonnes.
Acting Provincial Director Agriculture Rural Development Services, Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu, said it was all systems go for the Intwasa summer cropping season.
“Intwasa/pfumvudza is gaining momentum. Farmers are doing well and some have already started preparing their fields.
“We are looking forward to planting on 57 000ha across the province, which will give a total yield of 57 000 metric tonnes,” said Ndlovu.
Sibusisiwe Nare, a farmer from Mawane Village under Chief Nhlamba, thanked Arex for teaching them new farming methods that adapt to climate change.
“Personally, I would like to thank the department of Agritex for teaching us new farming technologies following climate change.
“I always take advantage of the first rains and put my seed in the ground because farming is a gamble as rains are no longer predictable,” said Nare.
Mbonisi Mpala, a seasoned farmer from Matshetsheni Village under Chief Muzimuni Mbiko Masuku, said mixed farming was the way to go.
“A good farmer must not depend on one crop or on same livestock.
“The danger of planting one crop is that whenever there are pests they will attack and finish the sole crop, but if you do a variety some will resist and survive.
“On the other hand farmers must stagger their crops in stages, dry planting for early rains then middle crops and finally when rains are no longer expected.
“With this kind of planning you cannot miss everything,” urged Mpala an award-winning farmer.
Farmers from different parts of the province are geared for the summer cropping season following the delivery of agricultural inputs for the 2022/2023 farming season under the climate-proofed Presidential Inputs Scheme popularly known as Intwasa/Pfumvudza.