Local agriculture experts have developed a manual for farmers, providing a guideline on how to improve yields per hectare.

Zimbabwe’s average maize yield per hectare is at 900 kgs, and according to the handbook, which seeks to upgrade subsistence farming into commercial farming, farmers can realise up to 2000 kgs per hectare.

This comes as the country has posted impressive maize yields under the Command Agriculture Programme, recoding over 2,1 million metric tonnes in the 2016-2017 season,  guaranteeing food security and providing support to industries that feed from this sector for raw materials.

However, the prospects are even brighter for the agricultural sector after the launch of the handbook.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Davis Marapira said the extension handbook will act as a conduit to buttress achievements recorded in the sector so far.

Given the rapid transformation in the  sector, which has ushered in new crop varieties that present the correct genetics to achieve this  target, industry leaders are confident of going beyond the peak harvests which hovered around 1600 kgs per hectare in the 1990s.

Agriculture remains an important pillar towards the revitalisation of the country’s economy and various initiatives being under taken to support the sector augur well with the projected growth of the industry set at 10.7 percent this year, according to the 2018 national budget.