Province set to meet its cropping targets

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MASHONALAND West Province is well on its way to meeting the planting targets for all the
crops this agricultural season and expects a good season.
If the good rains predicted hold up, there are indications that the province might surpass its
targets for most crops like the tobacco crop planted in September and October that has seen it
outstripping its target of 18 538ha for this season reaching a staggering 42 826 hectares.
Mashonaland West is set to maintain its bread basket status and has so far planted 41 percent of
its targeted planting area, with the province expected to plant the maize crop on 360 000
hectares.
Though in the 2021/2022 season, the area planted to maize in the province decreased to 343 000
hectares from 356 000 hectares the previous season giving a total production of 620 000 Metric
tonnes, this season the province is expected to meet its 360 000 hectares target.
Last season’s decrease was mostly attributed to climate change challenges that saw some areas
receiving very little rainfall, thereby resulting in decreased area under the crop.
With the hard-working farmers busy in the fields, the province is set again to break provincial
targets this year, ensuring the country is food secure.
The Agritex Department should be applauded for the great job it is doing as its officers are
currently working flat out with the farmers ensuring that they plant on time, and educating them
on weed management and pest control to guarantee good yields.
They are ensuring that farmers are vigilant and watch out for pest like the Fall Army Worm that
can decimate crops and greatly reduce yields if farmers fail to deal with outbreaks on time.
Although there were a few dry spells after the rainy season started in November, most crops are
well on their way to meeting the provincial targets though the cotton crop has failed to reach its
target by the end of the crop’s planting period.
Cotton farmers managed to plant 42 percent of the targeted 35 000ha. The farmers are not
encouraged to plant cotton in January so the province will not meet its target.
Farmers have been encouraged to plant sugar beans, cowpeas as well as sunflowers, as it is the
ideal planting time for the crops.
Having received farming inputs on time, and planted on time, it is hoped the predicted good to
heavy rains will persist until the end of the cropping season and ensure a good harvest for the
province and the country as a whole.

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