Crop assessment is underway countrywide to determine yield for the 2020/2021 cropping season in which a bumper harvest is imminent, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister, Anxious Masuka, said Wednesday.
Zimbabwe is receiving normal to above normal rains and crops across the country including the drought-prone Matabeleland region, are in good condition with farmers expecting significantly improved yield compared to the past two seasons where there were droughts.
Addressing Parliamentarians Masuka said results of the crop assessment would be published soon.
“This is the footing and pacing method. We are also getting assistance for the first time to do a satellite aided area assessment. However, using the proxy of 2017 which was a very good year, we estimate that we will get somewhere in the region of 2.3 million to 2.5 million metric tonnes (of maize) and perhaps more, because of the Pfumvudza approach.”
He said the Grain Marketing Board (GMB)envisaged opening up 1 800 collection points throughout the country in anticipation of the bumper harvest.
“We have also started negotiations between GMB and COTTCO so that the four regions of cotton growing areas in the country could have the dual purpose of receiving cotton and other harvests including maize and traditional grains. We are prepared for the bumper harvest.”
He said they expected GMB to start receiving crops from the 1st April. .
“It is in relation to the good rains that we have received from God’s mercy that we are hoping for a bumper harvest in terms of a lot of crops,” he said.
“As government, we are busy putting up funds to ensure that we buy the maize that we are going to receive in abundance as well as the small grains such as sorghum, millet and rapoko. We are also expecting the Grain Marketing Board and its silos to put 750 000 metric tonnes.”