21 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Farmers Urged to Continue Planting Despite Erratic Rains

Farmers in the Midlands province have been urged to continue planting despite erratic rainfall patterns.

Some farmers were beginning to lose hope due to the continued dry spell and erratic rains across the province, resulting in crops wilting.

In an interview yesterday, Midlands provincial crop and livestock officer Mrs Madeline Magwenzi said farmers should not lose hope but should continue planting.

She said the 2018-19 farming season was proving to be a very difficult one for farmers.

"We have said it before that weather predictions have indicated that this year is a bad year for farmers, but this is our business, we should persevere. We have some areas where crops have already wilted beyond redemption so the only alternative is to plant especially in areas where some rains were received this week," she said.

Mrs Magwenzi said there were some areas in the Midlands where farmers were yet to plant.

"This is the bad part of it, we have some areas where no significant rainfall has been recorded and farmers in those areas are yet to plant anything," she said.

Meanwhile, Chief Mtevaidze of Mberengwa said they were yet to receive any significant rainfall in his area, casting a shadow of hopelessness.

"We haven't started planting in Mberengwa, we are still waiting, keeping our fingers crossed that maybe one day we will have rainfall in the area.

"It's looking bad, we are staring drought here," he said.

Chief Maziofa, also from Mberengwa, said he has already raised an SOS seeking Government assistance as drought was already stalking his subjects.

"We are already in need of Government food relief. We did not get anything last year in our fields and this year is also proving to be even worse in terms of drought," he said.

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