The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) has expressed optimism that the 2017/2018 summer cropping season will be a success on the back of an increase in the number of farmers registered under the second phase of special maize programme and predictions of good rains.

With the 2017 /2018 agricultural season already in full swing, the ZFU has expressed confidence that the country will achieve its production output targets once again.

ZFU president Mr Abdul Nyathi said the predictions are premised on increase in hectarage for the second phase of the command agriculture programme after dry land farmers also took up the scheme this year coupled with the good rains expected.

Matabeleland South will put over 3000 hectares of land under the targeted command scheme, up from 1800 hectares in the previous season, against government target of 220 000 hectares nationally.

Meanwhile, the ZFU has implored farmers in Matabeleland regions to prepare for the command livestock programme which is set to rebuild the national herd, improve food security and revive beef exports.