Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
Farmers in the Midlands province are targeting to put more than 295 680 hectares under maize through the Climate-Proofed Presidential Input Scheme, Command Agriculture and private schemes during the 2020/21 farming season.

The province is also anticipating to put 225 000 hectares under cotton through the same programmes while another 73 420 hectares is earmarked for sorghum.

Provincial Crop and Livestock officer Mrs Medline Magwenzi said about 114 000 households were taking part in the Intwasa/Pfumvudza programme and have since received inputs.

More than 93 000 farmers in the Midlands have also undergone training under the zero-tillage agricultural programme introduced by Government to optimise grain production.

The programme has been quickly embraced by communities in the province with most farmers getting down to business following heavy rains that fell across the country.

Mrs Magwenzi said it was all systems go in the province.

“Most if not all our farmers in the province have since received their inputs in fertilizers and seed. With the rains having fallen we are now expecting the farmers to get down to business.

“Holes for the Intwasa projects have since been dug and our extension officers are busy monitoring the project and giving advice to our farmers,” she said.

Tillage is also in full swing.

“Those that are tilling their land, they should be concluding by now. However, we encourage farmers to monitor their cattle and ensure they are in good condition since they are coming from a dry season.

“Farmers should ensure that the cattle are strong and fit for use,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Magwenzi said most of the winter wheat has been harvested save for a few cases where farmers planted late.

“As a province, we are now left with Mvuma and Gweru districts in terms of harvesting our wheat. The rest like Kwekwe and others who planted in time managed to harvest before the rains fell. These ones planted late hence the late harvest,’’ she said.

She said there were enough combine harvesters to cater for everyone in the province.

The province put more than 2 600 hectares under winter wheat this year.