Start preps now, farmers urged

June 30, 2022

LETTICIA MAGOMBO

 

Farmers have been urged to start preparing for the 2022-2023 summer cropping season.

Shadreck Makombe, the president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union said: “When it comes to summer crops, we encourage farmers to start preparations now by doing winter ploughing so that they take advantage of the moisture content.

“We advise farmers without irrigation to do contour ridges to save the water in case of drought. They should find ways to conserve and harvest water so that if there is going to be drought they can mitigate it with the little water which they would have harvested, to see themselves through.”

He added: “We encourage farmers to buy their inputs now from the monies they would have gotten from selling their produce which they have already harvested so that they will not be found wanting, and running around looking for inputs late in the season.

“What we have seen is whenever there are new prices announced, unscrupulous business people also raise the price of inputs so we would want farmers to be alert on that one so that they also quickly utilize the money which they would have gotten from the GMB.”

The GMB is currently offering ZW$75 000 with a US$90 incentive to maize farmers.

Stewart Mubonderi, the national chairman of the Cotton Farmers Association also emphasised the need for preparedness.

He said: “I want to urge our farmers to budget their money for farming.

“Those who farm on their own should now start to purchase their fuel, fertilizer among other inputs while things are still cheaper than to wait for the rainy season.”

He also encouraged farmers to take advantage of schemes such as those provided by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco), which offered workers to help with land tillage.

“If farmers start to get assistance now they will be prepared in time.

“GMB has a good fertiliser scheme; they are saying that those who wish to purchase fertiliser can do so from them after they deliver their maize. That’s a very noble idea and a brilliant one but maybe what may deter farmers is the price on offer.”

 

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