Farmers advised to go for short season seed varieties
Harare (New Ziana) -As the dry spell continues and the cropping season is progressing, farmers across the country should now focus on planting short season seed varieties to achieve better yields.
In an interview, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development chief agronomist Rutendo Nhongonhema said farmers who have not finished preparing their land should continue doing so while waiting for the rains.
She also encouraged farmers under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme who have finished preparing their land to continue monitoring weeds which might have germinated due to the light drizzles recently experienced in some parts of the country.
“My appeal to farmers at the moment is that those who can, be advised to go for short season varieties because the planting season has progressed with no rains,” she said.
Nhongonhema said as soon as the rains come, farmers should avoid digging deep holes when planting to facilitate easier and faster germination.
She urged maize farmers in particular to plant their seed in shallow holes of between 3-5 cm to facilitate easier and faster germination.
Farmers should also continue monitoring weather updates so that they are informed of the dates the rains are likely to come so that they stay prepared.
Nhongonhema encouraged farmers to always be in touch with their agriculture extension officers for further expert advice.
Zimbabwe expects to receive normal to below normal rainfall with parts of the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces getting below normal rains for the beginning of the 2023/24 planting season, according to a preliminary weather forecast.
The period October to March is the main rainfall season over most parts of the country and the delay in the onset of the rains is threatening both humans and wild animals as water sources are drying up.