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El Nino afflicts farmers | Business Times

TENDAIISHE NYAMUKUNDA

Zimbabwe farmers have been particularly severely affected by the devastating consequences of the El Nino, farmer organisations have said.

 

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Shadrek Makombe described the situation as dire.

“Farmers could not plant because there was no water or rain. Those who did it were in a sorry state,”Makombe said.

He added:”Irrigation is the way to go. Those with irrigation are the ones guaranteed to harvest ”

 

Stewart Mubonderi the Chairman for National Farmers Union weighed in saying: ” El-Nino affected almost all crops this year including short season crops.Some farmers who were a bit lucky ,they did well here and there,but most of the crops were affected by El-Nino.”

 

He added:”Farmers who planted short season varieties at least got something compared to farmers who have not planted drought resistant crops.”

 

Mubonderi said it is important for the nation to put in place mitigation measures as a way to find solutions to the evil effects of climate change and El-Nino.

 

“What is important is for us as a country to find mitigation measures like cloud seeding ,we should have it on budget ,”Mubonderi said.

 

He said:”These short season varieties are supposed to be  readily available ,for example those regions which are known for receiving low  rainfall like region 5, 6 and 7 .

 

“Short season crops are suppose to be delivered to such regions at an early stage  and to some region which receives effective rainfalls they should also be give these crops early because El-Nino is here to stay .This will allow farmers to plant early their crops ,

 

“If these short season varieties were to be pop planted with those early rainfalls which were received in October it would have been better for our  country ,and these early crops would have reached the targeted yields.”

 

Edward Dune , vice president of the Tobacco Farmers Union concurred saying:”Targeted yields for most crops including beans and small grains have not been achieved this season due to El Nino.However standard yields under irrigation have been achieved,” Dune said.

 

He added:”We can’t therefore overemphasize the need for our farmers to graduate from rainfed agriculture to an irrigation supplemented Agric system.”

 


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