It has been a custom for the majority of the Gokwe Communal Farmers to practice early dry

 Planting for main crops like maize and cotton as a way to reduce job pressure when the rains come and also allow their crops to germinate before weeds.

It is however unfortunate this time that most farmers have difficulties in preparing enough seed due to the high cost of seeds as well as economic hardships with also savings for the festive season are needed.

 Most usual maize seeds from K2, SeedCo, Singenta, Pionner, ZAP and Mukushi are selling above US$20 and farmers cannot afford.

The cotton companies did not pay their clients in cash but rather groceries and hardware. In the twist of events they only gave inputs to those farmers who gave them their produce last season.

To ease the burden farmers are facing, My Gokwe Media had an interface with a Sociologist, Farmer, Businessman  and Teacher at the same time Mr Chikwaya Pardon based in Sengwa Bridge and Teaching at Chitombo High.

Chikwaya encouraged Gokwe Farmers to relieve their stress by opting for small grains such as sorghum.

He said farmers must work with GMB and reminded them that not only maize produce is taken to the GMB. He saluted GMB for being the company that respected the farmers previous season.

 “GMB can honour the farmers’ sacrifice. They make quick payments. This year I sold 2 tonnes but in less than a week my payment was made,” he said.

Again he encouraged parents to make comparison between harvesting maize and sorghum.

No, its so simple in harvesting sorghum than maize. Especially, these days people must not be too economic. There are women harvesting clubs and people must make use of those,” he said.

People have a tendency to grow maize so that they store in the granary waiting to sell when the price go up especially between December and April. Mr Chikwaya saw that as a lack in terms of business mind, hence, wastage of time and resources.

Haa you know what the thing is once I harvest sorghum, I automatically deliver to GMB and get quick money which I convert to capital for boosting my business. Most people lack that skill and even they sale late at a high return they don’t catch up with the profits I would have accrued.

He also highlighted on the issue of yield. According, to Mr Chikwaya, sorghum have highest returns that maize.

 “I always compare 1 acre sorghum against 1 acre maize, one gets more yield from sorghum plus they also have more weight and past more than an equivalent of the maize at the GMB.

With this advice from Mr Chikwaya we hope farmers facing seed challenges and those left out of the COTTCO input scheme will be answered.

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