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Crops written off in Mat South

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THE Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) has declared most of the maize crop in Matabeleland South a write-off due to the long dry spell that has hit the region.

Report by Silas Nkala

ZFU provincial chairperson Douglas Sibanda told NewsDay yesterday, most of the cereal crops planted in the region had wilted with Beitbridge being the worst affected.

“We have been going around the province assessing the crop situation. The situation is so bad,” he said.

“Beitbridge is the most affected as there is totally no crop to talk about. We also have been to Matobo, Gwanda, Plumtree and Insiza, where I am now.  It’s sad, there is nothing.

“When the rains came again in January, people replanted, but again a continuous dry spell hit the province and those crops have now wilted.”

“There is no hope of harvests this year in the province.”

He said they had since started mobilising cattle farmers to establish feedlots.

“We noticed that most of the cattle losses were as a result of farmers failing to take care of their cattle,” Sibanda said.

“In this programme we encourage them to feed their cattle for the purposes of supplementing the stockfeeds for the rest of their livestock.”

To date, the ZFU has helped farmers establish feedlots in Mangwe, Bulilima, Insiza and Gwanda districts in anticipation of another drought.

The province lost about 9 000 cattle during last year’s drought.

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