Government has recommended that farmers in Manicaland extend the planting period and use early maturity small grains as the rain patterns are continuously changing and unpredictable. Provincial Agritex crop and livestock production officer Mr Paul Sakuhuni said most crops in the province were at the reproduction stage and some at vegetative stage, showing progress from the rains received so far.
He said farmers should not lose hope in areas that have so far not received adequate rains for planting and extend the planting period as the season continues.
“All farmers should not lose hope and we are also appealing to farmers to extend the planting period,” said Mr Sakuhuni.
“We are encouraging farmers to use early maturity small grains that can utilise the little rains that some areas have so far received.
“We should continue planting as we do not know what will happen since it is said that we have unpredictable rains this season.
“The season might not change. It is better to have maize that would have been delayed at planting than not to have it all. You are not yet late in planting.”
Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) Manicaland provincial manager, Mr Daniel Mungazi said: “In some areas rainfall is still a challenge and the heat may result in more diseases and pests.”
He encouraged farmers to be on high alert for diseases and pests.
Mr Mungazi said they should also seek assistance from authorities who could assist them.
“Farmers should also take advantage of these rain breaks to apply their fertilizers that usually require a short dry period to work efficiently,” he said.
Mr Mungazi said the ministry was working tirelessly to ensure that all farmers received inputs on time.