Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Dry spell to continue in southern region

by Staff reporter
25 Feb 2022 at 07:09hrs | Views
THE dry spell that is being experienced in the southern region of Zimbabwe is set to continue, according to the Meteorological Services Department (MSD).

Farmers have already expressed concern over possible losses as most crops in the southern region such as Matabeleland North, South, Masvingo, Bulawayo and some parts of the Midlands are suffering moisture stress.

In a statement, the MSD said while some parts of the country could have experienced stormy and warm conditions, projections indicate those areas mainly in the southern region remain dry and hot.

The forecast for today (Friday, February 25) already shows that the southern region will continue to experience dry conditions.

"Isolated thunderstorms are expected in Harare Metropolitan, all Mashonaland and northern districts of Manicaland provinces.

The rest of the country (Matabeleland North, northern parts of Midlands, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland South, Midlands, Masvingo and southern areas of Manicaland provinces) should be mostly sunny. Mild in the morning becoming warm by the afternoon," said MSD.

Anxiety has gripped farmers in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces following a prolonged dry spell, which is threatening to cripple this year's harvest as crops have started wilting due to moisture stress.

Despite projections of a normal to above normal rainfall in both the first and second-half of the 2021/2022 cropping season, farmers now fear for the worst should the dry spell persist beyond this week.

The dry spell, which has persisted for about three weeks in some parts of the country has caused moisture stress on crops, which are mostly at vegetative stage, which is the most critical when crops require enough water to mature.

Over 2,5 million hectares had been put under cropping nationally by February 1 with 1 563  200 hectares of maize planted.

With only a month left before the normal rain season comes to an end, agronomists have warned that if the dry spell continues, the current crop is likely to be declared a complete write-off.

Source - The Chronicle