HEAVY rains that pounded the country in the last two weeks have left many farmers counting heavy losses after their crops were washed away.
The Meteorological Department said on January 3, Mvurwi recorded 166mm, Guruve 145mm and Mount Darwin 116mm.
In an interview with Southern Eye Business yesterday, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union president Wonder Chabikwa said the heavy downpours were threatening to affect the 2014/2015 farming production.
“Farmers lost quite a lot as some of their crops were washed away and some affected by the waterlogging, except for rice. This will to a certain extent affect our 2015 farming production but I cannot tell for now how many hectares of maize were affected as we are still compiling the information,” Chabikwa said.
Meanwhile, Chabikwa lamented the failure by the Grain Marketing Board to pay farmers for 2014 maize supplies.
He said this had affected farmers because most were failing to secure funds to purchase necessary inputs like fertilizers.
“It’s displeasing and disadvantageous. The bulk of farmers have not been paid and that has affected farmers because they are failing to secure funds for buying inputs and the hope of getting this money is dwindling,” he said.
In 2013, the nation’s staple food was also affected, first by flooding and then by drought.
According to a report by the government-run Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, maize production fell to 800 000 metric tons in 2013, less than half of what the country needs, compared to 1,4 million tonnes in 2012.