Maize harvesting in full swing across the country Minister Masuka

Elita Chikwati

Agriculture Reporter

Most districts are harvesting enough maize and traditional grains to last more than 12 months with only a few areas having enough to cater for six months and below, the Second Crop and Livestock Assessment report has revealed.

The maize yield for the season now ending is the highest since the 2000-2001 season while production of traditional grain increased.

The report states that traditional grains production for the ending season is estimated at 347 968 tonnes which is 1more than two and quarter the size of the compared to 152 515 tonnes harvested in 2019/2020. The increase in production has been attributed to the amount of rainfall and its distribution.

All Mashonaland Central districts have enough maize and traditional grains supplies for more than 12 months, allowing farmers to sell surplus, while in Mashonaland East only one district, Mudzi, is short and even that area has grown enough for 10 to 12 months of consumption in maize and traditional grains.

In Midlands, Gweru district has maize and traditional grains sufficient for a period of 4-6 months while Shurugwi and Mberengwa have maize and traditional grains for 10 -12 months. The rest have enough supplies for more than a year.

The reports also indicates that in Masvingo, Gutu and Chiredzi will have maize and traditional grains to cater for more than 12 months while Bikita, Masvingo, Mwenezi and Zaka will have grain for 10-12 months. Chivi and some parts of Chiredzi will be sufficient for 4-6 months.

Hwange, in Matabeleland North will have enough grains for 10-12 months while Binga, Bubi, Lupane, Nkayi, Umguza and Tsholotsho will have maize and traditional grains for more than 12 months.

Mangwe district in Matabeleland South has maize and traditional grains sufficient for 7-9 months while Beitbridge will be sufficient for 10-12 months.

Bulilima, Gwanda, Insiza, Matobo and Umzingwane have enough to take them for more than a year.

“In addition to the good rainfall season in the 2020/2021 season, the practice of climate proofed technologies (Pfumvudza/ Intwasa) significantly contributed to the increased yield levels supported by well-coordinated input programmes.

“There was marked improvement in maize yield across the country as a result of increased amount of rainfall and good distribution from the onset of the season in November 2020 to the end of February 2021,” said the report.

A total of 202 037 hectares was put under Pfumvudza maize and 1 066 755 tonnes are expected from that while 50 016 tonnes of sorghum are expected from the 10 634 hectares put under Pfumvudza.

However, in some areas yield levels were suppressed due to leaching caused by wet spells experienced in some districts in the southern parts of the country during the months of December and January.

A few districts like Mudzi in Mashonaland East and Rushinga in Mashonaland Central experienced dry spells at the beginning of February which led to poor yields and complete crop failure.

Zimbabwe is set for a record maize harvest since land reform.

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