zim maize.jpgThe Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) says the 2011/2012 farming season has recorded a reduction in hectarage under crop, a situation which has been attributed to erratic rains and late disbursement of agricultural inputs.

The ZFU says the late onset of rains and the late availing of agricultural inputs has seen the 2011/2012 farming season record a reduction in the hectarage under crop in all provinces.

Speaking to ZBC News on the situation countrywide, ZFU chief economist, Mr. Prince Kuipa said the reduction in the land under crop might see the country having lesser yields this season.

ZFU, which represents over 300 000 small scale farmers says the hectarage as at December 30, 2011 indicates that land under maize was reduced by 35 000 hectares from last year’s 750 000 hectares to 715 000.

The hectarage for small grains was reduced by close to 27 000 hectares reduction down from last season’s 235 039 to 208 297 hectares.

Tobacco recorded a 15 000 hectares reduction from last year’s 67 318 hectares.

In a move to boost availability of agricultural inputs to farmers, government merged the three facilities, the GMB $30 million swap scheme, the $45 million Scheme and the $56,2 million agro bills programme.