Pfumvudza crop yield plummets

May 26, 2022

LIVINGSTONE MARUFU

 

Crop yield per hectare  under the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa  programme plummetted in the 2021/22 cropping season, largely  due to prolonged dry spell and failure to observe conservative farming methods, a government report shows.

Pfumvudza recorded an average of 1.4 tonnes per hectare from 5.28 tonnes per hectare the previous summer cropping season.

“Maize and sorghum production under Pfumvudza/ Intwasa decreased by 54% and 80% respectively in the 2021/2022 owing to reduced productivity as a result of a poor rainfall season.

“Most farmers did not adhere to the Pfumvudza/ Intwasa principles, especially application of mulch and crop rotation,” part of the report by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said.

However, there was a marked improvement in the yield per hectare under the CBZ Agro-Yield, which is a partnership between the bank and the government in the period under review following the timely distribution of the inputs and irrigation schemes.

“51 932 hectares were put under CBZ  Agro-yield  at an average yield of 3.89 tonnes per hectare resulting in the total output of 202 209  tonnes.

Under the CBZ Agro-Yield, Midlands recorded the highest average yield per hectare of 5.55 tonnes followed by Mashonaland West and Masvingo ranking last at 1.13 tonnes per hectare.

This year a total area of 1 900 754 hectares were put under maize with a projected yield of   1 557 914 tonnes of maize thereby giving us an average  of 0.82 tonnes per hectare.

This  is a huge drop from 1.39 tonnes per hectare recorded during the 2020/20221 summer cropping season.

This is attributed to late onset of the season, intermittent and prolonged dry spells experienced in most parts of the country as well as poor rainfall distribution across most parts of the country during the peak production period of the season.

National maize production is dominated by the A2 sector contributing 34% and managing an average of 3.11 tonnes per hectare with small scale managing 0.45 tonnes per hectare.

“The communal area farming sector that normally contributes the highest maize production over the years was hard hit by the prolonged dry spells,” the report said.

Overall, the small scale farmers are projected to reach 502 858 tonnes and the highest being A2 at 522 666 tonnes.

The estimated maize production for 2021/2022 season stands at 1 557 914 Mt which is a 43% decrease from the 2 717 171Mt produced in the 2020/2021 season.

The total cereal production is 1 752 014Mt against a national cereal requirement of 2 267 599Mt (1 817 599Mt for human consumption and 350 000Mt for livestock).

Zimbabwe has sufficient grain  stocks in its strategic grain reserve, which will help ensure food security  up to the next harvest, a new government report  shows.

This comes after the second crop and livestock assessment report  estimated that Zimbabwe’s maize production fell 43% to 1 557 914 metric tonnes (MT) in the 2021/22 cropping season from 2 717 171 MT produced in the 2020/21 season, a second crop assessment report shows.

The total cereal production is 1 752 014MT  will be added with a surplus of 522 913 tonnes of cereals  from last year’s bumper harvest to give  2 274 927  tonnes leaving a surplus of over 107 000 tonnes.

The 2021/2022 season started late in the second and third dekad of December 2021 in most parts of the country. Where it started early, (last week of October to mid-November 2021), it was a false start.

Rainfall distribution was poor in both space and time across the country. There were incessant rains in January followed by prolonged dry spell in the first week of February to end of March.

 

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