Conrad Mupesa Herald Correspondent
Farmers in Mashonaland West have so far put more than 140 000 hectares under maize by taking advantage of the good rains received since last month, deputy provincial Agritex officer Mrs Siyena Makaza has said.
Most farmers who failed to plant at the beginning of the season took advantage of the wet spell experienced from January 9 to plant their maize crop.
She said most plantings in the province were recorded in January since December was dry and farmers could not risk planting.
“So far, we have more than 140 000 hectares of land under maize crop with most of the crop having been planted in January,” she said. “Farmers were rather sceptical about the rains that we received in December as they only lasted for five days.”
Mrs Makaza urged farmers who were still planting with the current rains to go for short season varieties.
“We, however, urge farmers to plant short and early term season varieties,” she said.
Mrs Makaza also urged farmers to employ measures to conserve moisture such as mulching.
“Farmers should take advantage of the wet spell to plant other crops like sweet potatoes, sunflowers, cowpeas and sorghum to supplement maize yields,” she said. “These crops do not need a lot of water and will also act as a supplement to the maize crop.”