Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Nation’s maize crop wilting, says ZFU

Nation’s maize crop wilting, says ZFU

Saturday, 03 March 2012 18:58

THE Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) says the country’s entire maize crop is in 
dire need of rain following the isolated and sporadic rainfall experienced 
in some parts of the country.
In its weekly market guide, the ZFU said the condition of the maize crop 
remained varied as most of the crops in good rainfall areas are doing well 
while some in areas with poor rainfall are between temporary and permanent 
wilting stages.

Most of it will not recover even if heavy rains were to fall.

“The early planted crop is now at soft to hard dough stages. The rest of it 
is between late vegetative and pollination stages,” said the ZFU. 
“Therefore, all the maize crops badly need rains.”

Agricultural experts say the sporadic rainfall pattern experienced in the 
country has contributed to low levels of agricultural crop production over 
the years, among a host of other factors.

Zimbabwe’s estimated annual maize consumption stands at three million metric 
tonnes against annual production levels of 1,4 million metric tonnes last 

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) notes that annual maize 
production increased from 500 000 metric tonnes in 2008, 1,2 million metric 
tonnes in 2009 and then 1,3 million metric tonnes in 2010.The agricultural 
sector contributed 17% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product according to 
the ZCFU.

The union noted that while some parts of Midlands and Mashonaland provinces, 
received sporadic and isolated rains with hailstorm in some cases, other 
areas continued to experience long dry spells.

Turning to tobacco, the ZFU said the irrigated crop is being graded and 
delivered for sale to the auction floors with prices received being better 
than the similar time period last season, as farmers deliver good tobacco.

“It is our hope that the good prices persist as the selling season 
continues. The rest of the dry-land crop is at vegetative to reaping or 
curing stages,” said the union.

“Some tobacco crops in the Banket area were hard hit by hailstorm with great 
losses to the farmers.”

ZFU noted that the outlook looked good for cotton and farmers would be 
expecting good harvests if rains persist.


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