By Michele Makunike
GWERU-The Provincial Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX) last week engaged with local farmers in the Midlands capital, encouraging them to work hand in glove with AGRITEX extension officers during the 2020/2021 agricultural season.
The department further urged agrarians to engage their officers frequently for advice on crop and livestock production. Speaking to this publication after the engagement, Gweru District Agricultural Extension (DAE) Officer, Edmore Mubaiwa said, farmers were supposed work hand in glove with AGRITEX extension officers in acquiring specialized farming advise.
“Farmers are supposed to work hand in glove with AGRITEX extension officers in acquiring specialized farming advice with regards to what action to take during the course of the rainfall season,’ said Mubaiwa.
“Farmers should also rely on a 10-day weather-forecast. According to the prediction of the country’s Meteorological Services Department, Zimbabwe will receive normal to above normal rainfall during the 2020/2021 agricultural season. As AGRITEX we encourage farmers to plant long season varieties that are high yielding as well as practice early weeding.”
On exercising moisture conservation techniques Mubaiwa added: “We also urge farmers to make use of moisture conservation techniques as well as use the available rainfall practice of diversification of crops and livestock mix so that if another plant fails, this will be compensated for those crops which fail to yield well but become an advantage to the farmers.
However, farmers were encouraged to always make use of their rain-gauges for decision making purposes, to be involved in water harvesting and practice split application of fertilizers.
The local authority said: “We are cleaning storm drains but we have however sadly noted that there are some residents who throw litter in the drains after we have cleared. We are appealing to residents to desist from that habit.
A snap survey by this paper showed that suburbs such as Mkoba 1, 15, 18 and 19 were going for weeks without water forcing residents to endure long queues to collect safe water from boreholes that are usually far from their homes.