Source: Midlands crop situation dire | The Herald March 12, 2019
Farmers in the Midlands Province have said the 2018-2019 farming season will not be good because of the prolonged dry spell that has gripped the province over the past two weeks.
In separate interviews, the farmers said the situation was pointing to a severe drought, while calling for Government to up its food aid programme.
Chief Maziofa of Mberengwa said crops in his area were a complete write-off and villagers had since left their herds to roam freely in the fields.
“We have since freed our herd to graze in the fields because there is nothing that can come out from there,” he said.
“The crops are a complete write-off, so we said we could not continue bothering ourselves looking after our herds and keeping them away from the fields.”
Chief Maziofa said villagers in his area did not harvest anything either last year.
“What it means is that this will be the second successive year of drought in Mberengwa.
“Last year, we did not harvest anything and we have been highly dependent on Government’s food aid,” he said.
Chief Mtevaidze of Mberengwa West concurred with his counterpart and appealed to Government to intensify its food aid programme.
“We are facing severe drought in Mberengwa and our Government should do something to save us from starvation.
“We have been receiving food aid but at two or three months intervals.
“Government needs to intensify this programme, especially here in Mberengwa,” he said.
Chief Mkoba of Lower Gweru said his subjects had also lost hope.
“We planted several times hoping we could get something, but it seems the gods did not smile on us this time around,” he said.
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Association president Mr Shadreck Makombe said:
“It’s not only in the Midlands, the farming season has not been good for the country as a whole.
“We are still assessing the situation to come up with the correct crop situation province by province,” he said.