Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Agriseeds tackles climate change

Agriseeds tackles climate change


The Herald

Nesia Mhaka Herald Reporter

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) has partnered Zimbabwe Agriseeds to scale up efforts to increase production of drought tolerant varieties that guarantee better yields for farmers as rains become more erratic.

The partnership has resulted in the production of new varieties that are tolerant to current climatic condition.

Hundreds of farmers are set to benefit from the partnership after they planted ZAP seed 63 produced by Zimbabwe Agriseeds Product and are expecting a bumper harvest.

Speaking during a field day held at Chakasha village in Mhondoro last week, CIMMYT senior scientist – maize breeder, Dr Cosmos Magorokosho, said agronomic practices always resulted in bumper harvests.

“Choosing good quality maize seeds such as the ZAP 63 results in farmers having potential to produce above 10 tonnes per hectare which contributes between 10 to 20 percent of successful farm yields,” he said.

“The seed should, however, be complemented by crop maintenance, optimum population densities, early planting, timeous application of fertiliser and pest control.”

Speaking at the same event, Agriseeds’ director of sales and marketing manager Mr Ivan Craig said seed manufacturers have been scaling up the production of new drought-tolerant and early maturing varieties to help counter devastating effects of climate change

“Climate change is the major concern at the moment and we want our breeders to develop new drought-tolerant varieties that can meet the needs of farmers who are feeling the impact of climate change,” he said.

“We have introduced a new seed type named ZAP 63 which is drought tolerant and ultra-early.

‘‘This is the Agriseeds solution to climate change and crop stresses due to the shortening of seasons, heat, drought and diseases.”

Mr Craig said the new seed variety matures after 60 to 65 days, making it ideal for areas which have erratic rainfall.

“ZAP 63 trials have shown that the crop can mature in two-and-half months in some areas and two months in others,” he said.

CIMMYT is an organisation which works in developing countries to improve livelihoods and foster more productive, sustainable maize and wheat farming and their portfolio targets critical challenges, including food insecurity and malnutrition, climate change and environmental degradation.


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