Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Farmers optimistic of good harvest

Farmers optimistic of good harvest


Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Farmers are optimistic of a meaningful harvest owing to the heavy rains being received in almost all parts of the country.
Low and erratic rains had threatened the 2017/18 harvest.

Most farmers whose crops had not reached the vegetative stage during the December-January dry spell said their hopes of a good harvest had been revived by the recent rains.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union executive director, Mr Paul Zakariya, yesterday said the recent rains had resulted in a significant recovery of crops that had been affected during the dry spell.

“The recent rains have brought significant recovery of crops and grazing pastures,” he said.
“Although a significant crop size was written off as a result of the December and January dry spell, the crop situation in the northern parts of the country is quite encouraging.

“The current season does not in any way compare with the last season when the country received normal to above normal rainfall. Livestock condition has also improved, as well as the water bodies throughout the country.”
Mr Zakariya could not give crop estimates.

He said they were still waiting for the Government crops and livestock assessment report.
On Tobacco, Mr Zakariya said the irrigated crop was at various stages of development, with some farmers concentrating on reaping and curing, while others were now grading the crop.

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union chief executive, Mr Edward Dune said most farmers were happy as a result of the recovery of their crops.

He said medium to long season varieties were recovering very well, while some farmers who had short season varieties had their crop badly affected by the dry spell and yields were compromised.

Mr Dune complained of the angular leaf post in tobacco and Potato Virus Y, which he said could affect yields and quality of the crop.

He said tobacco in water logged soils was showing signs of false ripening and this was putting pressure on farmers with limited curing resources.

“Farmers can make ridges to drain the soils or they can apply calcium nitrate to delay the ripening,” he said.


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