MORE than 80 seed suppliers and farmers on Tuesday converged on Nyanyadzi for the third edition of the Chimanimbeu Seed Market Day, which was organised by Towards Sustainable Use of Resources Organisation (Tsuro).

Seeds for drought-resistant crops such as sorghum, finger millet, wheat, beans, groundnuts and roundnuts were exhibited and sold to farmers, agro-dealers and representatives from some Government departments.

Tsuro Trust programmes officer Mrs Roseline Mukonoweshuro said: “This market creates a platform for farmers to sell and exchange seeds for the forthcoming planting season. There are a variety of seeds in store and we are happy that the market day has been hugely subscribed. Such platforms enable farmers to have access to seeds before the season starts. Farmers have embraced the OPV initiative hence the success of the seed market day.”

Tsuro, through the Seed and Knowledge Initiative, has played a critical role in imparting knowledge on traditional methods of small grains and other indigenous crop preservation to enhance food security and adapt with climate change.

Farmers interviewed by The Herald thanked Tsuro for coming up with the annual seed marketing day saying they were geared for the forthcoming planting season.

Wengezi farmer, Mr Peter Manjoro of Ward 2 in Mhandarume said: “We are prepared for the season and I can safely say we now have all seeds we need. Last season I harvested 50kg of groundnuts and I am hoping to surpass that. Tsuro assists us with technical expertise, for instance, on the importance of banking seed for future planting and we are really grateful.”

Another farmer, Mr Mickie Chieza, a beneficiary of the Presidential Inputs Scheme, hopes diseases will not affect crops.

“Resilient community-based seed systems are critical for food security and we are heading in the right direction. We wish Government would support us in securing buyers who will buy in large quantities. Last season our crops were plagued with diseases but we managed to sail through,” she said.

Most farmers, however, said they were ready for the 2018-2019 cropping season and had acquired open-pollinated varieties (OPV) seeds suitable for their drought-prone and arid district.

OPVs are credited with performing better than hybrid seeds under arid conditions, hence their potential to score better yields and ultimately boost food security.