Made warns of drought

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Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made last week warned the country was heading for a drought owing to erratic rains and inadequate resources, but blamed Finance minister Tendai Biti for underfunding the sector.

Made made the remarks in Harare after the handover of 9 722 tonnes of wheat and 4 908 tonnes of rice by the Chinese government.

“I want to emphasise that the season has been erratic. The start was difficult. There have been parts of the country (where) crops are a total write-off,” said Made.

“The donation will go a long way in alleviating hunger among the needy communities, especially those that have been affected by erratic rainfall patterns that have characterised agriculture over the past two seasons,” said Made.

He said the southern parts of the country were the most affected. On Wednesday, Zanu PF secretary for lands and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said most crops in Manicaland province had been affected by the prolonged dry spell experienced last month.

“There is hunger from what we have seen here, but it’s not your fault, it’s because there were no rains,” said Chombo while addressing mourners at the burial of Chief Makumbe in Buhera.

Speaking at the same occasion, Manicaland Provincial Governor Christopher Mushohwe said:

“You have seen for yourself that this year there is nothing people of Buhera will get. The same can be said of many parts in Manicaland including Makoni, Makoni West, Makoni East and Nyanga as there are the most affected. We don’t want people to receive food in the evening while others are sleeping. The government that is giving food is our government and everyone has to
benefit.”