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Rains give hope to Zimbabwe farmers

by Staff reporter
11 Jan 2023 at 16:48hrs | Views
THE rains that have been falling in many parts of the country have restored hope for farmers in Hwange's Matetsi ward where first crops were wilting.

Meaningful rains started falling after New Year's Day and a majority of villagers in the area are still planting.

Those that had planted earlier, said their maize crop was almost at tasselling stage and needed meaningful rains.

Matetsi ward covers Matetsi, Lubangwe, Breakfast, Woodlands, Masuwe and other nearby areas especially resettlements.

Farmers endure the challenge of human-wildlife conflict as the ward shares boundary with Hwange and Chamabondo National Parks.

Despite the challenge of wildlife, the ward is the breadbasket for Hwange district and together with Lusulu in Binga and Nyamandlovu in Umguza, are Matabeleland North's prime crop farming areas.

Other parts of the province are either rocky or covered with Kalahari soils which make crop farming a challenge.

farmers told the Chronicle their hopes had been restored although some areas are yet to get meaningful rains.

Mr Morgan Ndlovu from Matetsi along the Hwange-Victoria Falls Highway said hopes were high for a better harvest if it continues raining.

"It rained recently and crops are now doing well. Some people are still planting but a majority are now concentrating on weeding. We have high hopes that this year could be better judging by the way it has rained now," he said.

Ms Alfonsina Shoko from Lubangwe Farm 56 said the first maize crop is already tasseling and would have failed had it not rained.

"The rains have been erratic such that we have been replanting several times but for those crops that germinated we are hopeful they will make it because of the rains received lately," she said.

She said most people planted small grains and maize.

Usually beginning this month until end of harvest, villagers start having vigils in the fields to guard crops from being destroyed by animals.

"We were concerned because rivers and streams had not started flowing but there is hope now although we are still receiving light rain.

Naturally, we knew that by mid-January we should eating the first crops and stop planting but now people are still planting in some areas," added Ms Shoko.

Matetsi ward 1 councillor Vulindlela Gasela Mhlanga said more rains are still needed.

"Our worry was that we may not get proper rains as it has only been drizzling. For our area as long you can still drive to Masuwe then it hasn't rained effectively. We have places that are still dry like in Breakfast and many people are still planting. We hope if we continue getting these light rains we might get there," he said.

Source - The Chronicle
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