Matabeleland South farmers replant as dry spell ends

FARMERS in West Acre, Matabeleland South, have started replanting their crops after their first crop wilted due to the continued dry spell as rains that fell early this month in the province have given them new hope.

BY LINDA CHINOBVA

Farmers who spoke to Southern Eye on Sunday said they were hopeful of a bumper harvest as they were now taking advantage of the heavy rains in the region.

“All hope had been lost for us farmers when our crops entirely wilted. The region has been receiving inconsistent rainfall and as a result the crops weren’t growing well,” Sibonisiwe Mkhwananzi said.

“Due to the consistent rains we have been receiving for the past week, we have started replanting our crops. We have to take advantage of the rain because if we don’t, we will die of hunger.”

Edwin Gatsheni said the farmers had held rain prayer sessions.

“Farming is a very expensive activity. Seeing the crops wither was very disheartening and we thank God for answering our prayers,” he said.

“In the rural areas, we survive through farming and when we don’t receive adequate rainfall and general good weather conditions, our means of survival are affected.

“As it is, it’s not only the crops that were affected, but also the livestock. There was little water for livestock and the grazing land was terrible, but as you can see, the grass is green meaning the livestock has enough feed.”

However, some farmers said they feared that if the rains become excessive, the crops and livestock would be destroyed.

“We really appreciate that we are receiving rainfall and as a result we are able to replant. However, we will not rule out the fact that too much rainfall might destroy our crops and we will be left miserable again,” Given Ndebele said.

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