Some farmers under command agriculture have expressed concern of the delays in distribution of basal fertilisers which they say is now affecting their plans to plant the irrigated maize crop.
After registering one of the best maize outputs during the first phase of the command agriculture, Edson Makina became one of the first farmers in the country to be identified by government and given a centre pivot under the first batch imported from Spain.
But a visit to his farm and other large scale farmers under command agriculture reveals a disturbing story, as Makina is yet to use the irrigation equipment to plant his targeted 100 hectares of irrigated maize because he could not access basal fertiliser.
A senior agronomist Irvine Craig implored the relevant authorities and farmers to come up with a lasting solution to shortage of basal fertiliser as any further delays in availing the commodity will have adverse impact on the projected bumper yields this season.
Although the Minister of Finance and Economic Development announced that funds for command agriculture have been secured, investigations by ZBC News revealed that while farmers have managed to register and prepare their land early this season, most of them are battling to access fertiliser which is reported to be in short supply at collections points dotted countrywide.
Meanwhile, the late disbursement of inputs has become a major concern for communal farmers.
While farmers have expressed satisfaction with the onset of the rains, they are concerned and worried that the late disbursement of inputs like fertiliser and seed will hamper their progress.
At Nyama village in Runde, the communal farmers say they will not stop planting even though inputs have been secured under a challenging environment.
The farmers bemoan the perennial late delivery of seed and fertiliser as the challenge which must receive urgent intervention by all concerned authorities.