Kabompo, Aug 22/14, ZANIS——–Kabompo District Agricultural Coordinator (DACO), Peter Chibizwa, has urged farmers in the area to adopt good farming practices in order to increase maize yields during the 2014-2015 farming season.
Mr Chibizwa made the call when he addressed farmers at this year’s Kabompo District Cooperative Union Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.
He observed that farmers in the district are only producing 2.5 metric tonnes of maize per hectare instead of the expected 4 metric tonnes.
He lamented that 10,000 small scale farmers cultivated a total of 6,435 hectares under maize during the 2013-2014 farming season, but the district only managed to produce 209,000 x 50 Kg bags of maize which is about10, 450 metric tonnes.
Mr Chibizwa said this means that on average the famers only produced about 2.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
He said the current trend of maize production has remained low for several years in Kabompo due to poor field management practices that include late planting, bad application of fertiliser and weeding.
The DACO said his office will this year implement urgent strategies aimed at educating and sensitising the farmers on field management and fertiliser application to ensure increased maize production during the 2014-2015 season.
And Acting District Commissioner, Hendrix Solochi, said his office will closely monitor farmers and extension officers during the 2014-2015 farming season because the district cannot afford to underperform in maize production when government is spending a lot of money to provide subsidised inputs to farmers.