Farmers with irrigation facilities in Lower Chipinge are contemplating shifting to grow maize in winter, saying it is more viable than when grown in summer due to pests and diseases associated with the weather conditions in the area.
The summer maize crop is faced with a number of challenges that include pests and diseases and high evaporation rate that translates into more irrigation water quantities.
“In light of pest and diseases challenges in summer, I think it is better for us to grow maize in winter. Lower Chipinge is not a frost prone area hence it has favourable conditions to grow maize in winter,” a farmer and agronomist, Jeremiah Maguta said.
The profit margins are high in winter, another farmer Zvidzi Rushwaya noted, adding that this would ensure an all year round availability of the crop.
Most places in the country have no conducive temperatures to grow maize in winter due to low temperatures.