Manicaland Correspondent
Farmers here have started preparations for the 2019 winter cropping season, amid hopes of recovery from poor yields recorded in the summer crop due to drought.

Manicaland Agritex crops and livestock officer Mr Cephas Mlambo said irrigation farmers in Manicaland had already finished their crop harvesting for 2018/19 and were now preparing for winter planting.

Most irrigation farmers in Manicaland have started preparing for the winter cropping season. Government is still mobilising inputs to ensure early distribution to farmers and timely planting.

Some inputs have already been distributed to them including maize and sugar bean seed.

“Some irrigation schemes across the province like Nyanyadzi, Maunganidze and Deure started planting last month and are pinning their hopes on this winter season since the 2018/19 summer cropping season yields were low compared to previous years,” said Mr Mlambo.

He said the rain-fed crop was not yet ready for harvest since farmers planted late due to the late onset on the rainy season.

“Many farmers in drylands are expecting to harvest in May. There was a late start to the season, inputs came on time but the season started late. Farmers in the Highveld areas planted in early December and this is where we get the bulk of our crops. In the Lowveld areas, farmers only planted in early January,” said Mr Mlambo.

He indicated that Agritex was currently doing a second round crop and livestock assessment which would give them more accurate information on the actual yields obtained.

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