from SHELUZANI MAKHESE in Chikombedzi
CHIREDZI – CHIREDZI, a perennial drought region, has realised a bumper harvest for the first time since Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform programme in 2000.

This underlines Zimbabwe’s rebounding agricultural sector.

Chiredzi district is associated with small grain crops such as sorghum, which is familiar with resisting dry spells but this season also ventured into maize and sunflower.

A majority subsistence farmers told The Lowveld Post, they expected an unusually productive harvest.

Food reserves are anticipated to last a year.

A second crop and livestock assessment confirmed the bumper harvest and food security.

In its report, the Crop and Livestock Assessment noted that Chiredzi is bound to realise enough traditional grains harvest to last more than 12 months while only a few areas having enough to cater for six months and below.

The report also noted small pockets of Chiredzi will only be self-sustaining for a period of 4-6 months, while the entire district would record them a harvest of more than 12 months.

The report further mentions other districts of Masvingo province such as Gutu to have abundant maize and traditional grains to cater for the period.

However, districts such as Bikita, Masvingo, Mwenezi and Zaka will have grain for ten-to-12 months.

“There was marked improvement in maize yield across the country as a result of increased amount of rainfall and good distribution from the onset of the season in November 2020 to the end of February 2021,” reads the report.

A total of 202 037 hectares of land was put under maize cropping with expected tonnage of 347 968 while 10 634 hectares of land was allocated to sorghum, and anticipated to yield 50 016 tonnes.

Zimbabwe’s bumper harvest has been collaborated by United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicting a total harvest of more than 2,7 million metric tonnes of maize for the 2020/21 season.

– CAJ News