Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made, has appealed to zesa Holdings for lenience on electricity power cuts that are affecting farmers in most parts of the country. He said his ministry was engaging the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to see how the situation could be improved to save crops under irrigation.
Dr Made said the most affected crop was wheat which was nearing maturity. He said farmers were failing to irrigate the crop fully due to constant power cuts, which may also affect seed production which relies on irrigation. “Constant electricity cuts have affected most farmers who are completing their wheat crop and starting summer crop seed producers and those into horticulture.
“I intervened to reduce imports and now the challenge is electricity being cut. I appeal on behalf of farmers to zesa Holdings, to save some crops that were about to mature. If possible, the farms should be spared and allow the crop to mature and be harvested. Otherwise the efforts that have been put in place by all stakeholders including bankers who supported with funding will be put to waste,” he said.
Dr Made expressed concern that some farmers were switching to generators but this was proving to be unviable.