Mat South crops succumb to dry spell

Dry spell in Zim

MATABELELAND South traditional leaders have expressed concern over the prolonged dry spell which has resulted in the wilting of crops.

There are now fears of possible starvation in the province if there are no rains in the short term.

A visit to parts of the province on Wednesday by Southern Eye established that crops are in a bad state, with many communal farmers likely to lose most of their crops.

Chief Khulumani Mathema told Southern Eye that crops in the province are in a bad state.

“This year it is not looking good for us; especially when it comes to sorghum. The crops have withered due to the unfriendly climate. There are no rains and this might see us facing drought this year,” Mathema said.

He said erratic rains and poor distribution of rains dampened the spirits of most farmers in the province.

“Farmers around here are now starting to lose hope because crops have gone really bad. This year it looks as if we are not going to secure good yields as compared to two years back,” he said.

Kaufusi villager, Jabulani Nare said they would likely need food aid soon.

“We have experienced too much dryness during this season. I think we are really going to request food assistance because all our blood and sweat has gone to waste due to climate change. I don't know how we will survive for the rest of the year,” Nare said.

Matabeleland South Agricultural Rural Development and Advisory Services acting provincial director Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu said small gains were generally in a better condition than maize across the province.

Ndlovu said districts in the south of the province such as Beitbridge and Gwanda were the hardest hit.

“Dryness is concerning us a bit but we urge our hardworking farmers not to lose hope,” he said.

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