BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A SMALL-SCALE Gutu farmer, Jefta Hamandawana, has defied the drought experienced in the whole country this year by growing the drought-resistant Syngenta seed, which won him the best provincial maize farmer in Masvingo province on Friday.
Speaking at the field day, Tashinga Hondongwa, from the provincial administrator’s office standing in for Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira, thanked the Syngenta seed company for coming up with the drought-resistant variety, saying such discovery would eradicate hunger and poverty in Zimbabwean communities.
“In Masvingo, we experienced low rainfall this year. We have drought this year, but our farmers have turned to other seed crops like Syngenta seed, which helped them to achieve high yields despite the drought. We are happy that the discovery by the seed company brought hope in the face of drought,” Hondongwa said.
He further urged farmers to work with agricultural extension officers for advice to get higher yields such as Hamandawana’s.
“These field days are there to encourage farmers to continue working for better results. I have realised that most of the crops are grown for home consumption, but they must also go beyond that and look for markets from local institutions.”
Hamandawana said the production of the new early maturity seed variety made the whole farming process simple.
Syngenta sales and support manager Moses Kudanga told NewsDay that they were happy that the their seed crop had performed well in all climatic conditions around the country, adding arranging field days would also help in bringing the farmers together and exchanging ideas on challenges and advantages.
“A field day is good in that we meet many farmers and this is the time we educate each other on the types of seeds that give them high yields and how they manage their crop. We are happy that our seed has managed to produce high yields despite the drought this season. We have short-season seeds, which can produce despite low rainfall,” he said.
Syngenta is a seed company which makes drought-resistant seed varieties that are adaptable to different weather conditions. The company has supplied farmers with the MR1514 maize seed variety, which is an early maturity variety, and the MR1624, which is a medium maturity variety.