MATABELELAND South farmers have been urged to grow early maturing and drought resistant crops and practise mixed crop and stagnant planting in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
Matabeleland usually receives low rainfall, hence the need for farmers to grow drought resistant crops.
Early this year, the Meteorological Services Department partnered non-governmental organisations on an 18-month project aimed at establishing and strengthening early warning systems to improve disaster preparedness and resilience among rural communities in Matabeleland South province.
Matabeleland South chief meteorological officer Rogers Munyira urged farmers in the province to grow early maturing crops.
“We have projected normal to above normal rainfall in Matabeleland South province bearing in mind the variety of rainfall patterns due to climatic changes,” Munyira said.
“Our farmers should plant or grow early maturing crops in the southern region, the province usually gets 500mm per season, so our farmers should grow small grains which are drought tolerant like sorghum, millet, rapoko and leguminous plants like beans.”
Munyira said farmers should stagger planting.
“At the same time, farmers should practise smart agriculture like mixed crop planting, for example, planting millet with beans, generally in Matabeleland South because of the rainfall patterns farmers should grow small grains,” Munyira said.
Recently, Matabeleland South farmers said they had only put 4 615 hectares under sorghum against a target of 35 000.
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