Agriculture

Govt assesses crops, livestock

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

Government is undertaking a second crop and livestock assessment programme across the country to evaluate their conditions, it has been learnt.

The assessment also seeks to make a final assessment on disease prevalence, state of pastures and water supply.

“On the first round of the crop and livestock assessment we have realised that our crops have a strong standing and with this second round and final assessment, currently in progress we will be able to come up with final results which will be more or less the same with the actual production figures,” Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement permanent secretary, John Basera told Business Times this week.

He said farmers were on the final stages of sugar beans and sweet potatoes plantations especially on wet areas, with most farmers having completed the planting processes of both crops.

The results of the assessment, Basera said, would provide an early warning to decision makers on the possible outcome of the present cropping season. This will also help the Grain Marketing Board to prepare its silos to contain the possible output.

Agriculturalists have encouraged farmers to continue adhering to good practices such as pest and weed control to harvest a good crop.

Mashonaland East Agritex officer, Tanaka Homela, said the country is poised for a bumper harvest in Mashonaland East as majority farmers did well this summer cropping season.

“The nationwide second round crop and livestock assessment began on Saturday  and so far on all farms we have  witnessed a bumper crop be it A1 or A2, the results are satisfactory. In Mashonaland East, we expect most farmers to have an average output of five tonnes per hectare.

“And also on the livestock front most cattle and goats are very healthy with most females having been calved,” Homela said.

He said most dams were full and pastures were also in excellent condition.

In his 2021 National Budget, Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube estimated the grain yield to be more than the national requirement of two million metric tonnes, meaning Zimbabwe will import less maize this year.

Zimbabwe maize hectarage increased 18% to 1.82m hectares from 1.5m hectares but with increased yield per hectare the country is expected to realise above three million metric tonnes this year.

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