Jennifer Mufamba and Sandra Maziwisa
Seed Co has implored farmers to start preparing for the 2021/22 farming season as the country gears to improve on food security and produce excess for the export market.
Farmers have been implored to know and understand the essentials of soil genetics, for them to achieve the desired results.
“Genetics play a pivotal role in unveiling the necessary requirements of the crop where you find that (with) the right genetics you are set to get the desired outcome and desired results,” said the Seed Co Zimbabwe head of agronomy, Wendy Madzura.
The seed company organised the virtual symposium.
Madzura said soil analysis goes a step further to analyse even the nutrients constitution and if farmers are educated more on soil genetics, they will be able to know the right type of fertilisers to use.
She said soil analysis should be done three to four months before the farming season.
“Nurturing soils will safeguard our environment for future generations, this moves with the recommendations of conservation, which speaks to issues to do with minimum soil disturbances, and maximisation of crop rotations and permanent ground cover,” she said.
Speaking during the same virtual symposium, Agro meteorologist Benjamin Kwenda, said a relatively wetter season is expected.
He added that lanina conditions are expected to prevail in the first half from the period of October to December and neutral conditions should be seen especially from January to March.
“Climate change issues have been main-streamed in all sectors of the economy so as a seed company, we will provide new seeds that will be made available across the entire country,” Seed Co public relations manager, Marjorie Mutemererwa said.
“We are coming up with seeds that will suit the climate change that we are expecting in different regions of Zimbabwe’’
Seed Co launched seed varieties recently that include: SC419, S 555 & SC659 and this season the company unleashed SC657 and SC661.
“On its part, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement aims to sustainably increase crop production to meet and surpass the national requirement for both human consumption and industrial use,” said Agricultural Extension Specialist Blessing Nekati.
This is going to be done through indigenous implementation of the key touch points of the agricultural recovery plan among other blueprints.
“The training department in our role in trying to achieve this objective and trying to increase productivity to surpass the national requirements, we are responsible for the technical capacitation of our extension stuff that is for both physical and online.”
Nekati said there will be training focusing on Pfumvudza/Intwasa concept for the upcoming 2021/22 season.
Farmers must be able to select the right seeds, agronomic practices should be advocated for, he said.
Seed Co Zimbabwe is the leading producer and marketer of certified crop seeds in Zimbabwe, hybrid maize seed, wheat, soyabean, barley, sorghum and ground nut seed.
Most of hybrid and non-hybrid cereals and oil crop seed varieties are proprietary, having been developed and bred at Seed Co research stations through market-oriented research and breeding programmes.
The seed is produced from Seed Co’s own parent seed under contract by an established producer network. Innovation and novel breeding methods are responsible for the success in developing successful hybrid varieties such as SC727 and SC719 recorded by the Art Farm as the highest yielding variety across all national varieties in Zimbabwe. Yield records of 21 tonnes per hectare have been achieved with these varieties. The research team is dedicated to ensuring that the nation has been served with productive varieties in all regions by continuously breeding varieties that are suitable and adaptable in today’s ecological conditions.