'We've enough maize seed for 202223 season'

Maize seed

THE Zimbabwe Seed Association (ZSA) says there is enough seed maize in stock to cater for the 2022\23 summer cropping season.

ZSA vice-chairperson John MacRobert told NewsDay Farming that approximately 40 000 tonnes of seed maize are in stock, enough to meet local demand.

“We have enough stocks of all seeds and as for seed maize, we have approximately 40 000 tonnes from all seed houses and that will be enough to meet the local demand for the 2022/23 summer cropping season,” MacRobert said.

“Farmers should start securing the seed now in light of the inflationary period we are in.”

He warned farmers against buying fake seeds from unregistered traders.

“Farmers should buy certified seeds from registered dealers and avoid fake seeds from bogus and unregistered traders to avoid incurring loss,” MacRobert said.

“There has been a rise of these dealers who are duping farmers, so it’s wise for farmers to secure seeds from registered dealers. We are also urging farmers to choose variety that suit their ecology.”

Farmers buying bogus seed face certain risks which include poor yields.

Such seed has no germination assurance; is not graded for size and is susceptible to diseases.

Certified seed maize produced by a reputable seed company has a guaranteed germination of at least 90%.

Fake seed found in the market place is probably normal grain from previous harvests, which geminate but produce lower yields.

Seed shortages and high prices have been a major concern in the past, which have driven farmers to buy uncertified seeds, while they have also failed to plant early owing to the scarcity of cheaper inputs.

Estimated maize production stands at 1 557 914 tonnes this year, which is a 43% decrease from the 2021/2022 season.

This is attributed to late onset of the season, intermittent and prolonged dry spells experienced in most parts of the country as well as poor rainfall distribution countrywide during the peak production period of the season.

National maize production is dominated by the A2 sector contributing 34%.

Communal farmers, who have normally contributed the highest maize tonnage over the years, were hard hit by the prolonged dry spells.

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