Latest Farming News Roundup 7 Jan 2024

Latest Farming News Roundup 7 Jan 2024

Jan 7, 2024 - 21:21
Jan 7, 2024 - 21:24
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Latest Farming News Roundup 7 Jan 2024

1 - Rainy Season Likely To Be Short - Govt
2 - Seed Companies Facing A Financial Crisis Due To A Govt Debt Of Over US$60 Million
3 - Vet Department Urges Farmers To Intensify Cattle Dipping
4 - Zimbabwe Imports 426 000 Vaccines For Anthrax Hotspots
5 - GMB Fails To Pay Wheat Farmers

*1 - Rainy Season Likely To Be Short - Govt*
The Government has advised farmers that the 2023/24 rainy season has started and is likely to be short, reported The Herald.
around 2 877 000 hectares were targeted for planting summer crops this season.Maize was projected to take 1 782 000 hectares, sorghum 350 000 hectares, pearl millet 200 000 hectares, soya beans 60 000 hectares, sunflower 160 000 hectares, sugar beans 55 000 hectares and cotton 270 000 hectares. Said Muswere:
Of the total hectarage, 867 500 hectares will be financed by the Climate Proofed Presidential Inputs Supply Scheme (Pfumvudza/lntwasa), and the rest by CBZ, AFC, NMB and other banks and by the private sector and individual farmers.

*2 - Seed Companies Facing A Financial Crisis Due To A Govt Debt Of Over US$60 Million*
The Zimbabwe Seed Association (ZAS) has revealed that 11 seed companies in the country are facing a financial crisis due to a debt of over US$60 million incurred by the government. The debt, which is related to seed supplied for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 agricultural seasons, has left these companies struggling to secure financial support from banks and investors.

The 11 seed producers are Arda, Easi Seeds, Farmbiz Genetics, Intaba Trading, Klein Karoo Seed Marketing, Prime Seeds/Seed Co Vegetables, Quton, Reapers, Seed Co, Tocek and Zimbabwe Technology Solutions. They all indicated that they are heavily borrowed and are failing to timely service the bank loans

*3 - Vet Department Urges Farmers To Intensify Cattle Dipping*
The Veterinary Service Department (VSD) has urged farmers to intensify dipping cattle to fight January Disease (theileriosis) and other tick-borne diseases.
In a notice to farmers, VSD said it will be enforcing the Cattle Cleansing Regulations of 1993, which make dipping of cattle mandatory.

The Department said that cattle should be dipped at least once a week to control ticks and tick-borne diseases. It said:Dipping is a critical measure in eliminating tick-borne diseases. The rainy season has always been associated with increased tick activity and an upsurge of tick-borne disease.
This has been a problem resulting in almost 500 000 cattle succumbing to the disease since 2017. We encourage farmers to dip cattle regularly.

*4 - Zimbabwe Imports 426 000 Vaccines For Anthrax Hotspots*
The Veterinary Services Department (VSD) has said it has acquired 426 000 vaccines of anthrax from Botswana and deployed them to hotspots such as Chipinge, Gokwe North and South, Makini, Mazowe, Makonde and Hurungwe, among others.Acting Deputy Director of Veterinary Field Services Reverend Spargo told The Herald that vaccination is currently underway in hotspots areas.He added that 22 human anthrax cases have so far been reported in Gokwe South, Gokwe North and Hurungwe.Spargo urged farmers to report cases of anthrax, adding that the majority of people who contracted the disease are consuming the infected meat. 
The symptoms of anthrax can vary depending on the route of exposure, but they commonly include fever, fatigue, body aches, and potentially severe respiratory distress or skin lesions. If left untreated, anthrax can be fatal.To prevent anthrax measures such as animal vaccination, proper handling and disposal of animal products, and practising good personal hygiene are important.

*5 - GMB Fails To Pay Wheat Farmers*
The Government has reportedly failed to release funds to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to enable it to pay wheat farmers for deliveries to the parastatal.Zimbabwe produced over 465 000 tonnes of wheat in the 2023 winter wheat season, thereby surpassing the previous record of 375 000 tonnes attained in 2022.GMB’s failure to pay grain farmers on time may scuttle the progress the country has been making in recent years to be self-sufficient.

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