3 000ha ready for winter maize

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More than 3000 hectares of irrigated land has been prepared for a winter crop of maize and traditional grains in the Lowveld in a joint venture between Government and private enterprises.

Government, the Masvingo Development Trust (MDT) and Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe added traditional grains and sunflower to this year’s programme, while expanding the area to be planted.

MDT plans to put 1 000ha under winter maize and traditional grains, while Tongaat has assured Government that it will plant over 2 000ha.

There were delays in rolling out this year’s programme owing to its expanded scope and late delivery of inputs which are availed by Government under the Command Agriculture initiative.

Tongaat offered irrigable land at its Mwenezana Estates for this year’s initiative, as Government pulls all the stops to reduce the country’s food import bill and the need to cut imports because of the Covid-19 measures and their effects on international trade.

MDT secretary Mr Ailess Baloyi on Monday disclosed that considerable ground had been covered under this year’s winter farming initiative.

“We are on track and so far we have prepared 600ha, which will be soon planted,” he said.

“We have prepared 500ha in Mwenezi and the other 100ha was cleared in Chiredzi. We hope to have prepared the entire target of 1 000ha by the end of next week so that we can start planting.”–herald.cl.zw

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