Crops Wilt in Midlands, Matabeleland as Rains Disappear

Gibbs Dube

WASHINGTON DC — Some farmers in the Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland regions say crops are now wilting due to lack of rains in the past two weeks, raising fears of another devastating drought this year.

Farmers in Zvishavane, Lupane, Gwanda and Chivi districts say the situation is becoming desperate in these areas as there is no hope that rains will fall within the next few weeks.

Mazviwa farmer, Chris Makwenda, said indications are that there won’t be any harvests once again in the area this year due to poor rains.

Mpumelelo Gumbo of Victoria Falls agrees, saying the situation is also desperate in most communal areas in Victoria Falls and Hwange.

But Marange farmer, Paul Chitsinde, says the crops are doing well in some parts of Manicaland which were devastated by drought last year.

Perennial droughts in most regions have been blamed by development agencies, non-governmental organizations and agricultural experts for annual food deficits in Zimbabwe. The government says the agriculture sector is set to grow by at least 9 percent in 2014.