Zimbabwe: Farmers Panic Over Shortage of Market Certified Maize Seed in Bulawayo

BULAWAYO has been hit by market certified maize seed shortage with some urban farmers resorting to untreated seed from previous harvests.

This has given rise to the mushrooming of a fake maize seed market within the city.

Bulawayo and peri-urban areas around the city have been experiencing heavy rains since last week.

Many urban farmers are taking advantage of the rains to maximise maize and sweet potato production on open council land.

However, due to the economic hardships and the need to supplement on food, many locals have taken into urban farming.

Urban farmers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com in the city said they were facing challenges in accessing maize seed.

“I have been looking for maize seed since last week, but most shops have run out of the product.

“A few shops are selling varieties which we are not familiar with. We cannot get our usual varieties such as SC 529 and SC649,” said Ivin Moyo who practises his farming on a little land portion in Nkulumane high density suburb.

Another Esigodini based farmer, Shepard Sibindi said he has been looking for maize seed since last week.

“I have been coming to town every day looking for maize seed but I cannot get it.

“Some shops are only selling 50 kg bags which are going for US$ 90 each. Yesterday, I planted the other portion using untreated maize from my previous harvest because I had no other choice since planting time is running out,” said Sibindi.