Farming inputs delayed

By ZBC Reporter
Several farmers who have signed up for the agro-yield schemes being facilitated by a local bank are yet to receive fertilisers resulting in long queues at the Grain Marketing Board(GMB) Bindura depot.
Long queues have become the order of the day at the GMB depot as several farmers from across the province are yet to receive fertilisers under the Smart agriculture programme.
Some farmers are coming from areas like Concession and Shamva as their local depots have no inputs supply.
Those who spoke to ZBC News said the farming season has been difficult since they only received seed and chemicals with no fertiliser while low rainfall has also affected crops.
“From October till now I have been chasing inputs leaving my wife and children to work the farm. The travelling has been very costly making the season difficult. I pass through the Shamva depot on my way to Bindura but they tell me to come here,” said Lamion Jokonya a Shamva farmer.
“We are yet to receive top dressing fertiliser and by this time we should now be topping the crop so this may affect our yield,” said one Canisios Dengu.
Bindura Farmers Association Chairman Rodwell Choto said it would have been ideal for farmers to receive the full inputs package on time.
“Time is of essence in agriculture and we will not attain optimum yields given delays in getting inputs. Our contracts had an element of working capital, mechanisation and fuel but farmers only received seed and chemicals. We are also experiencing a drought so what we now plead with government is for them to roll over the loans so we can repay them after next season,” he said.
Dryland maize crops in most areas are showing signs of moisture stress due to low rainfall received during the first half of the 2019/2020 summer cropping season.