Maize harvesting progressing well in Midlands

By Tafara Chikumira

CROP harvesting is progressing well in the Midlands Province although there are concerns over the recent wet spell.

Most farmers are harvesting an average of five tonnes per hectare as compared to the anticipated 10 tonnes per hectare, while other crops have been written-off after a long dry spell.

“I am very happy that we have already managed to harvest 80 percent of our maize mainly from Pfumvudza/Intwasa and convectional farming which was done earlier in the season. On potato harvesting, we are now at 75 percent. For tobacco, we only managed 40 hectares and all the tobacco is now at the auction floors. The cotton crop is good, but no harvest has yet taken place on traditional grains. We are a bit worried about the rains that could have an impact on the maize which is now turning grey. Farmers are advised to remove the cob and put in safe places,” said Mrs Madeline Magwenzi; Midlands Provincial Director ARDA.

Government is hopeful that the fast pace in harvesting of the summer crop will culminate in early land preparation for winter wheat.

“It is quite refreshing that for the first time in many years we are confident of a timely start to the winter cropping season. Initially we had anticipated to do 6 800 hectares of wheat but we have since revised it down to 6500 hectares after realizing that some of the areas registered were not ideal. We are hopeful that this will give us a better yield. Our goal is to ensure that we have enough wheat to deal with the country’s requirements,” she added.

The drought induced harvest experienced this season has seen government and some development partners springing to action reviving irrigation schemes to offset the effects of climate change.