Govt avails early to ultra-early maturity maize seed in Preparation for dry 2023-2024 season
By Yvonne Mutambwa
Government has taken measures to counter the low rains expected in regions four and five this coming planting season.
Speaking at the post cabinet briefing yesterday, Minister of Information and Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon Jenfan Muswere noted that a portion of the maize seed availed to farmers was modified to shorten its maturity in anticipation of the forecast warning given by the Meteorological Services Department.
” About 40.8 percent of available maize seed is of early to ultra-early maturity. The acceleration of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme is progressing well as well as the distribution of inputs across the country,” said Minister Muswere.
Another solution preemptively provided for by the Second Republic via NDS1 prohects for the effects of Elnino are irrigation schemes and Dam construction which serve as alternatives for rain water. Completed dams like Marovanyathi, Tokwe Mukosi and Gwayi Shangani will make assist greatly in their respective areas which all fall under Climatic zones four and five.
“Regarding the irrigation update, dams are 82 percent full across the country. Some 70 316 hectares have been committed for irrigated maize production, with a potential of 400 000-500 000 metric tonnes production,” added Hon Dr Muswere.
He also told the press that Government had invested in State Assisted farming through inputs and financing.
“Under the National Enhanced Agriculture Production Programme (NEAPS) a target of 92 000 hectares has been set.
In terms of the summer financing schemes, Government will contribute USD 642.372 million while the Bankers Association indicates that Z$68 billion and USD 160 million has been committed for the 2023/24 season,” added Minister Muswere
Hon Dr Muswere noted a rise in uptake for tobacco farmers as the growing of the golden leaf retains its profitability.
“Seed sales for Tobacco preparations for the 2023/24 season are 7% above last year figures indicating an increased interest in tobacco production.
Meanwhile, 40 contractors have registered for tobacco production with the total indicative area contracted at 147 835 ha,” he said.