Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Farming is business – Official

Farming is business — Official

Sunday, 10 April 2011 21:30

Seed Co head of marketing Mr Ivan Craig

Agriculture Reporter

Farmers should treat farming as a business that needs both human and capital investment, Seed Co head of marketing Mr Ivan Craig has said.

Mr Craig made the remarks while addressing farmers at a conservation agriculture field day at Kahari Village under Chief Musana in Mashonaland Central recently.

“Farming is a business. Parents send children to school using proceeds generated from farming just like any other business person would use cash raised from their different ventures to deal with important social and economic issues,” he said. Farmers should therefore have their soils tested for pH levels.

“Soil pH must be kept at the right levels to allow the farmer to achieve optimum yields. It is important for farmers to do soil sampling and send the samples to laboratories for tests so that when they apply fertiliser, they know the required quantities,” explained Mr Craig.

He said in areas such as Musana that lie in natural farming Region 2B, which have very high rainfall, soil tests should be done after every third or fourth season as there are possibilities of leaching.

Maize yields in well-maintained soils in the area can pass 10 tonnes per hectare in a good season. Mr Craig encouraged farmers to use varieties suited to their natural regions.

“Use the right varieties. For this area, early to medium varieties do well while the long-season varieties may require the farmers to ensure that their soils are heavy and have most of the basic nutrients.”

He advised farmers to start winter ploughing soon after harvesting summer crops. This, he said, would allow their soils to trap moisture when the first rains fall.



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