Mkushi farmers shift from late-maturing to early-maturing seed varieties

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–Farmers in Mkushi district are said to be shifting their preferences in maize seed from late maturing varieties to medium and early maturing seed.

Mkushi Seedco Manager, Kalunga Chabafimbi, confirmed to ZANIS, saying the demand for medium maturing seed varieties had overtaken the late maturing varieties in the on-going sales for the current farming season.

Mr Chabafimbi said most farmers cited the late commencement of rains as well as the prolonged dry spell over the past two months as the demand for early and medium maize seed varieties.

He observed that the recent trend had dislodged the traditional preference for late maturing seed varieties.

He, however, commended the farmers for having assessed the climate related situation, saying this showed that the farmers were ready to make adaptations towards this challenge.

Mr Chabafimbi said in past years, farmers had some reservations against early and medium maturing seed varieties, saying the rain pattern had necessitated the need to use other varieties.

And MRI Mkushi Manager, Steve Selemani said although medium maturing varieties are leading the current sales trend, there had been an increasing demand for early maturing varieties in recent weeks.

Mr Selemani observed that the demand pattern was becoming more inclined towards early maturing maize seed varieties.

He said his company was carefully studying this change in seed preference, adding that in past years early maturing seed was shunned by many.

The late commencement of the rainy season this year has caused worries amongst farmers with most fearing that it could negatively affect their crop output.