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Farmers predict bumper harvest

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THE country is likely to achieve an improved yield this year despite the torrential rainfall which has flooded some regions in the country, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) has said.

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In an interview yesterday, ZCFU president Wonder Chapikwa said the country was likely to achieve a maize yield of above one million metric tonnes this year up from the 800 000 metric tonnes achieved last year.

He was, however, quick to point out that areas with light soils have been adversely affected by leaching while those with heavy soils like clay would only produce better yields provided farmers applied top dressing fertiliser which is scarce.

“Most of the regions in the country have been receiving above normal rainfall and we are likely to have a better yield than last year,” said Chapikwa.

“But the majority of the farmers could not afford the top dressing fertilisers and this is likely to compromise the yield, if farmers had enough fertiliser we could have this year even reached two million metric tonnes of maize,” he added.

Last year the country recorded a 17% drop in maize production to 799 000 tonnes from 900 000 tonnes and this was against the national annual maize requirement of 1,2 million tonnes. The World Food Programme recently predicted the country was likely to register a food deficit of nearly 500 000 tonnes this year.

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