Farmers panic over rains

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Farmers in most parts of the Midlands Province have started to panic as the province is yet to receive any significant rainfall.

Farmers who had planted on small pieces of land said their germinating crops were beginning to show signs of moisture stress.

In Mberengwa, farmers said they were yet to start planting as the area is yet to receive rains.

“In some areas we heard some are already hoeing but here in Mberengwa we are yet to start planting.

“We are yet to receive significant rainfall and its blazingly hot day in day out. We are beginning to wonder what this farming season has in store for us,” said Mr Pardon Shanga of Mberengwa.

Mr Shanga said the situation was so dire, water sources had dried up.

“We are struggling to get water for drinking purposes as all sources of water have gone dry. No water, no pastures for livestock and every farmer is in panic mode,” he said.

Another farmer, Mrs Hilda Nyoni Zhombe, said some farmers were now selling their livestock for a song as they desperately need to reduce their herd.

“We are being robbed by butchery owners who are buying some beasts for as little as $150.

“They are taking advantage of the situation and people have no choice but to reduce their herd,” she said.

Midlands provincial crop and livestock officer, Mrs Madeline Mgwenzi urged farmers to remain calm and hopeful.

She said farmers should not panic as there will be enough rains, especially for livestock.

“There has been a predicted El Nino drought but farmers in the province need not to panic. We are just feeling the effects of climate change but the predictions gathered from the relevant offices and weather experts are that there are enough rains especially for the pastures for our livestock so farmers should not panic,” she said.–

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