Conrad Mupesa Mash West Correspondent
The wet spell prevailing in the country has brought relief to farmers who were beginning to worry after planting their crops following the first rains. Most crops around Doma area in Mhangura that had been dry-planted about two weeks ago had germinated, but farmers feared the dry spell could affect them. Others saw their planted seeds fail to germinate. Some farmers who had not planted took advantage of the rains to plant over the Christmas holiday.
“We had planted our crops on the 14th of December, but due to the dry spell, they failed to germinate whilst for some, the planted maize and soya bean seeds decomposed in the ground,” said Mr Tapiwa Nyamapfeka.
Some farmers who had not yet received the Presidential and Command Agriculture inputs early, said they took advantage of recent rains to plant their crops after having been allocated maize and soya bean seeds.
“We had not yet received Presidential inputs, so we failed to plant in time, but with the rains we received on Christmas eve, we managed to plant the seeds. We spent the entire Christmas Day in the field planting so that our crops will germinate,” said another farmer at Silverside Hills in Mhangura.
Although some farmers took advantage of the early rains and their maize is now at knee level, the majority have not yet applied Ammonium Nitrate.
“Allocation of Command and Presidential inputs has been a bit slow and as a result, we have not yet applied Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser,” said Mr Richard Jenami of Matovanyika Farm.
Some residents who spoke on condition of anonymity pleaded with the military to restore order in the distribution of inputs so that everyone benefits.
“We have seen the same names being allocated inputs each and every time, and some of the people who are given the inputs sell the inputs at the black market, which is against the law. We are begging the army and the Government to restore order in the inputs distributions,” said one disgruntled Mhangura farmer.
However, Zanu-PF district chairman for Mhangura district Cde Misheck Paradzanwa dismissed the allegations saying inputs were being distributed fairly.