The Lowveld winter maize project is on the right track after the Masvingo Development Trust (MDT) sealed a deal with sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe to prepare 3 000 hectares targeted for maize and traditional grains.
Planting is expected to be completed by the end of this month as inputs have already been secured from Government under the Command Agriculture programme.
MDT has started registering A2 sugarcane farmers at Hippo Valley, Triangle and Mkwasine Estates, who offered a combined 1 200ha of their irrigable land for the food initiative.
This followed a request by Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Cde Ezra Chadzamira, who is the winter maize project patron.
Besides land offered by cane farmers, MDT secured additional land for this year’s project at Mwenezana Estates in Mwenezi to bring the total land outlay available for the project to more than 3 000ha. This is approximately 10 times the 327ha tilled last year whose output was 1 182 tonnes.
“We have a target to put over 3 000ha under different crops during this year’s Lowveld winter farming programme and we are happy with the response from A2 cane farmers who also offered us land to produce grain and we are currently registering them for allocation of inputs under the Command Agriculture initiative,” said MDT chair Cde Lovemore Matuke.
“The farmers will start getting inputs in the near future. We want everything to be flexible so that there are no disruptions. We sealed a deal with Tongaat to do the land preparation and everything is on course and we should have finished planting by the end of June.”