Dry spell sparks drought fears

FARMER groups have warned of foods shortages in the country owing to the prolonged dry spell.

“The dry spell has disastrously affected farmers. Things are not looking good here Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president Shadreck Makombe said.

“Most crops as we speak now have wilted because we have not received rain for a long time. Even if the rains come, they will not recover. It’s really a disaster.”

Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) operations director Prince Kuipa said they were expecting low yields this season because of the dry spell.

“It has affected crop growth and development. Most crops are showing signs of wilting and distress. We anticipate that the production levels of 2021-22 are going to be lowered.  But we are going to have a significant loss. It could be anything around 30-40% that we could lose that crop if dry spells proceed,” Kuipa said.

Tobacco Farmers Union of Zimbabwe president Believe Tevera said: “We have not received rains up to date. Especially looking at areas like

Mt Darwin, they have not received rains up to date. They only received rains twice this year. The situation is very bad.”

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Climate and Rural Resettlement ministry secretary John Bhasera said the government was equally concerned by the dry spell.

“These dry spells are the signs and signals that climate change is a real reality. This has been a tricky season because of climate change. We had a false start to the season but after the false start it later on started very well, although it was a late season but it’s not a lost season,” Bhasera said.

On Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the country expects to receive rains in the next seven days.Newsday.

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