Heavy rains leave Zimbabwe farmers concerned





FARMER’S organisations have expressed concerns over the incessant rains that have pounded the country for the past few days as they have the potential of ruin their crops.

Most parts of Mashonaland Central – Mt Darwin and Bindura – Mashonaland West and Midlands have been receiving large amounts of rainfall. A recent update from the Metrological Services Department shows that the country is expected to receive more rains up until this Wednesday with flash flooding anticipated in some areas.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Shadreck Makombe, said farmers in Mashonaland Central are much concerned about the plant growth which has been hindered by the heavy rains.

“In Mount Darwin where most farmers grow crops like beans, sugar and soya, these types of crops need moderate rainfall but the rains have been damaging such crops.

“Farmers now have been complaining about how most agro-chemical dealers have been fluctuating the prices of chemicals and fertilisers which is a negative response considering the fact that too much rain means too much chemicals and fertilisers to be applied,” Makombe told the Daily News on Sunday.

He, however, urged farmers to use organic fertilisers, urea and manure to resuscitate their plant growth. Makombe also urged farmers to understand the types of soils on their land so they understand the type of crops and fertilisers they are supposed to use.

Zimbabwe Women Farmers Association president, Dephinah Nkomo, said the rains have negatively affected plant growth as places like Chegutu have received at least 75mm of rainfall in the past week.

“The red soils in Chegutu tend to be sticky when it receives too much water and that has affected our plants. We are also unable to cultivate our lands because of too much rainfall. “I just urge farmers to use organic fertilisers so that we can receive the intended yield,” Nkomo said.

Zimbabwe National Farmers Union president, Edward Dune, said even though the country has been receiving incessant rains, it was a sign of good future yields.

“Most farmers have been working towards solving the problems that they have been facing of continuous rains. “The only problem is high production costs because more and more fertilisers and chemicals are required for a bumper harvest; otherwise we are looking forward to good crop returns than losses,” Dune said.

Source – dailynews