Matabeleland South farmers start planting 

Source: Matabeleland South farmers start planting – The Southern Eye

FARMERS in Matabeleland South province, have started planting their crops following improved rainfall beginning this week.

The rains have started falling after a five-week delay, bringing relief to farmers and their livestock.

The delayed rains had affected agricultural production across Zimbabwe with livestock and wildlife succumbing to the effects of drought.

Matabeleland South acting provincial Agritex officer, Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu, said farmers in the province had begun planting their crops following the rains.

He said some farmers who had dry planted traditional grains and were monitoring livestock should start witnessing the germination of their crops in the coming seven days.

“The province is currently receiving some rains which is a relief in both crop and livestock farming systems. Farmers have started planting their crops while monitoring their livestock,” Ndlovu said.

“Some had already dry planted traditional grains. We are expecting to witness germination of their crops in the next seven days.”

He, however, said the outcome of this year’s farming season was hard to predict due to the El Nino phenomenon.

“The season quality is not yet defined because weather patterns are natural, we will continue to follow and monitor the pattern. Delays in onset of rains contributed to both domestic and commercial water shortages,” Ndlovu said.

 “The government, however, assisted the communities in various aspects, especially drilling boreholes in the villages and providing livestock feed.

Government has revealed that more than three million farmers have completed training in conservation agriculture with approximately two million plots having been prepared for planting.