Dry Spell: Farmers Fear The Worst

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By Mashonaland Central Correspondent

The persistent dry spell hitting the country has left farmers in Mashonaland Central province fearing the worst as crops they had planted start to show signs of moisture stress which could lead to their failure.

Despite healthy meteorological forecasts predicting good rains, during the 2021-2022 season, there has been a prolonged drought stretching three weeks.

In an interview with Monday, chairman of the Bindura Farmers Association Rodwell Choto expressed concern over the negative effects that the dry spell.

I don’t want to lie, the rains are already late and even if they come today, we fear that we might have no bumper harvest next year,” Choto said.

“We fear for the farmers who had already borrowed inputs from the banks. They might not harvest enough to repay. This is a tough time,” he said.

He however urged farmers to resort to traditional grains that are adaptive to climate.

“I would like to encourage farmers to focus more on traditional grains in the future and not on seasonal varieties so that they won’t lose much,” he said.

Bindura farmer Simbarashe Gomwe said: “We farmers have been affected adversely by this dry spell that we are experiencing this year. With the excessive rains that we received last year; we were hoping that this year was a good year as well. Right now, we should have crops growing but we are still stuck. We have done our land preparation and this will force us to abandon the long season of varieties which have got the potential of yielding highly because our summer season is going to be shortened by this dry spell. So our profitability is going to be affected big time,” Gomwe said.