Farmers in Trelawney and Banket in Mashonaland West province are counting their losses after heavy rains ravaged the area, destroying several hectares of thriving maize crops.
BY NUNURAI JENA
One of the affected newly-resettled farmers, Elison Murambiwa of Red Mile farm told NewsDay at the weekend almost a third of his 10 hectares of maize had been razed to the ground by the hailstorms, which were characterised by strong winds.
“I lost an estimated three hectares in the heavy downpour, which hit the area on Friday and Saturday,” a devastated Murambiwa said.
When NewsDay crew visited David Gomba’s New Dawn Farm on Friday, farm labourers were busy trying to salvage some of the slightly damaged crops by heaping soil around plants in the aftermath of the deluge.
Gomba had six hectares destroyed.
Gomba, who is a beneficiary of the government command agriculture programme, was sceptical he would be able to repay the inputs loan and remain with a surplus for sale.
“If this scenario repeats itself, I will certainly not be able to remain with anything with which to repay the inputs loan and be able to sell the surplus so that I will be able to fund my own activities at the farm next year,” Gomba, who was anticipating a bumper harvest following last season’s success, said.
Most farmers in the affected areas said they had not insured their maize crop.
Several other villagers in the province have lost their flourishing maize crop due to incessant heavy rains that continue to pound the farming region.
Meawhile, sporadic cases of outbreaks of armyworm have been reported in Mhangura, where the pests have reportedly destroyed maize crops.