Hope for farmers in drought prone Gwanda

Small holder farmers in Gwanda have expressed hope of a better 2020 /2021 summer cropping season, as rains continue to pound various parts of the country.

It had been a challenging year for farmers in Matabeleland South Province, after a severe drought that hit the region last season resulted in massive crop failure and death of livestock.

However, the good rains that have characterised the start of the season, have ignited hope of an improved summer cropping season.

For farmers, the Intwasa /Pfumvudza programme is set to further boost yields.

“I planted the area under Intwasa around October and am hoping to harvest one nd half tonnes and from the other side of my field I see myself getting no less than four tonnes,” said one farmer speaking to ZBC News.

“As farmers we are really hopeful of a better season , compared to last year.”

Local councillor, Mary Mpofu also expressed optimism that most households in her ward will be food secure this year as compared to 2020 where families survived on relief aid from the government.

“A number of farmers in my ward adopted the intwasa programme and from the assessment that I have done so far am convinced farmers will harvest enough for their families and to send to GMB as well,” she said.

Acting Matabeleland South Provincial Crop and Livestock Officer, Mr Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu said the early planted crop is at various stages of growth.

“Looking at the area planted, the largest area is under maize, followed by small grains and sunflower. Under intwasa, 7 thousand 820 hectares have been planted so far. We encourage farmers to scout and cultivate their crops,” said Mr Ndlovu.

The province is targeting to plant 104 992 hectares under maize under the general farming and 20 106 hectares under the Intwasa /Pfumvudza Programme.

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