Preparations for the 2020/2021 farming season underway in Mat South

By Sifiso Mpofu

Preparations for the 2020/2021 farming season are in full swing in Matabeleland South with the province targeting to put over 200 thousand hectares of land under cereals.

The introduction of a new conservation agriculture model termed Intwasa is among the strategies adopted by the government to boost food production this season.

Farmers, who spoke to ZBC News in Bethel Gwanda this Thursday, said they are part of the 80 thousand producers who have prepared their land after receiving training from Agricultural Research and Extension officers.

“Preparations are at an advanced under in Intwasa. We have identified a piece of land measuring 39 x16 metres and we have done all the precision management principles. So we are very optimistic that we are going to get a good yield this year.”

Under the model, it is envisaged that each farmer will produce a tonne of maize, from the 30 thousand hectares prepared under the programme.

Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate and Rural Resettlement Acting Provincial Officer, Mr. Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu urged farmers to take advantage of the early rains this season to maximise production.

“As an extension, we are encouraging farmers to plant with the onset of the first effective rains, harvest water using mechanical means, have contours, let us use Compound D as an initial fertiliser. We generally expect cereal production to improve this season.”

Matabeleland South is also looking at putting 125 000 hectares of maize under conventional farming, while 80 thousand hectares of land will be put under sorghum and pearl millet.