George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Most parts of Masvingo received rains over the past week, bringing relief to farmers across the province whose crops, especially maize, were showing signs of moisture stress.Most of the early planted maize crop was beginning to wilt under the weight of severe moisture loss caused by the dry spell that lasted over three weeks across most districts.
Farmers were already predicting a gloomy agricultural season for Masvingo following the poor and erratic rains. Some farmers had already given up on planting maize crop.
In Gutu, heavy rains pounded the district over the last few days with farmers in Chiwara, Bhasera, Tirizi, Maungwa and Mukaro saying something could now be salvaged.
The situation was the same in Bikita, northern parts of Zaka, Chiredzi and Masvingo districts, which received rains. Zimbabwe Farmers Union Masvingo regional manager Mr Jeremiah Chimwanda urged farmers to intensify farming operations.
“In some areas such as Chivi and Mwenezi farmers had not planted because of lack of rains,’’ he said.
Mr Chimwanda said farmers should go for short-season seed varieties, especially for maize and those in arid parts of the province must prioritise small, drought-resistant grains.