Bumper harvest despite dry-spell

maize_cropCHIPINGE - Some farmers in the Ngaone communal area in Chipinge are expecting a bumper harvest despite the dry spell that hit most parts of Manicaland.

Most farmers who spoke to The Zimbabwean recently said they were expecting surplus grain maize in spite of the dry spell which occurred in most parts of the country during February and January.

I planted my seed before the rains and when we received more rains my crop was already at maturity stage and it was not affected by the drought. I also used organic manure to boost my yield, said Natisa Mlambo, a farmer who planted 13 hectares of maize.

Mlambo added that, unlike other farmers, she did not use treated maize seed for planting but instead used a traditional maize variety called Chitonga.

My secret for getting good yields is that I do not buy treated maize from shops. I use a special traditional maize variety as maize seed. After every harvest I carefully select my seed for the next season. I have been doing this for a long time and this has proved to be a success, she said.

Another farmer, Caleb Masocha, said he was expecting about 30 tonnes of maize this year.

For me it is a question of planting the right seed at the right time. I know what is best for my soil and the weather patterns in the area, Masocha explained.

Most parts of the country are in need of food assistance after poor harvests due to a long mid-summer dry spell and also due to food shortage and late distribution of farming inputs.

The worse affected are Matabeleland South and North province, Masvingo and parts of the Manicaland province.

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