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Matabeleland farmers optimistic of bumper harvest as rains pound

Farmers in the drought-prone Matabeleland region say they are optimistic of a bumper harvest as most parts of the country continue to receive significant rains.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has already predicted normal to above normal rains in the 2020/2021 cropping season.

The season which is divided into two parts began in October and ends in March next year.

Speaking to CITE from Insiza, a farmer in the area, Jonathan Nsingo, said there was excitement over the rains in the district.

“It has been raining nicely, from the day before yesterday in Gwatemba, Malule and close to the Dolo Range,” said Nsingo.

“There is no thunder and lightning; water is following down nicely and we are expecting a bumper harvest. Maize grown under dry planting has germinated very well. Even the Pfumvudza (government-promoted conservation farming) maize has come out well. People are already weeding as we speak.”

Nsingo said the farming season was promising after two years of consecutive droughts occasioned mainly by poor rains received.

This season looks good; for now it is very much promising,” said Nsingo.

“I have never seen farmers as busy as they are, this year. The same applies to those who did not join the Pfumvudza as they are also busy farming.”

He added: “Even our cattle which survived the drought are now in good condition. If farmers were to follow advice from the agricultural extension officers on de-worming their animals two weeks after the first rains, cattle would all be in good condition. The cattle that I dosed two weeks after the rains are now good looking.”

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) executive member, Irene Maphenduka, who is based in Umguza also said hopes of a bumper harvest were high.

She however said there were some farmers whose crops were destroyed by hailstorms on November 30.

“Some of us have been affected by hail on the 30th of November, which uprooted trees and destroyed our crops,” she bemoaned.

“So we are yet to do replanting. If we are to replant, the challenge that we have is that one of seed. We do not have money, seed is a problem. We are still waiting for seed from the government which we were promised.”

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