Story by Regis Mhako and Tapiwa Machemedze
The resurgence of rainfall after a short dry spell towards the end of December has brought joy to farmers across the country, with most crops now recovering from moisture stress.
In Mashonaland West, rains that fell across the province on New Year’s Day have ignited farmers’ hopes of a good season after a dry spell that characterised the end of 2022.
The first of January saw the Heavens opening the floodgates, much to the relief of farmers.
A farmer told the ZBC News, “We were looking up to the heavens after we felt our crops could be written off, but we are glad the rains are upon us once again.”
“The dry spell had made us lose hope of salvaging anything from our fields, but the rains came timeously this new year and the crops will retain their glow again,” another said.
Mashonaland West Agritex director, Mrs Evelyn Ndoro said the dry spell had an effect on hectarage planted for staple food crops but urged farmers to start planting small grains and short-season maize varieties which still have a chance of attaining maturity.
In Mashonaland Central, a cross-section of crops in the Hore area of Madziwa and Matepatepa in Bindura, are in a healthy state following downpours experienced after a brief lull towards the end of last month.
The wet spell is bringing smiles to farmers’ faces and relieving crops from the moisture stress experienced last week.
“This season had gone bad due to lack of rain but now the water has returned and it’s better but now my major worry is about fertiliser and I hope to get fertiliser so there is hope on the horizon,” said Emilia Grandera, a farmer.
Another farmer, Prosper Muroiwa said, “This season is good, now it’s raining well. Crops had wilted, but now water is returning and our crops have enough moisture.”
“In my view, I will be victorious. Rainfall wasn’t too late and I have five weeks after planting my crops and I’m now putting my top. The season is changing and what’s needed now is to plant with the first rains,” noted another farmer, Bramwell Katema.
The farmers expressed optimism about achieving better yields than last season if the wet spell continues in its current form.