By Gay Matambo
THE wet spell experienced in Chiredzi recently has brought relief to livestock farmers with pastures having turned green.
With the last wet spell having been in January this year, the lengthy dry period had affected pastures.
However, livestock farmers in Chiredzi can now afford to smile as pastures have turned green, while streams have also started flowing due to the rains that were experienced across the country last week.
“Our pastures are looking good and our animals are not going to struggle because our crops were now being destroyed by livestock since pastures were now dry,” said a farmer.
“Now we can safely say that we have sufficient water for livestock in our streams and dams,” said another farmer.
Cotton farmers are also expecting a boom as the crop has been revived, but the situation is not the same for smallholder sesame and cereal crop farmers.
The cereal farmers were are not happy with the rains.
“We can safely say to some farmers the rains came with some good and to some with bad. Looking at cereal crops, the rains affected our harvest and the quality of the product we will get. This sesame crop, you can see for yourself I don’t think i will get much from it because due to the rains it has been greatly affected.”
Chiredzi District Agritex Officer, Mr Tongai Bodi urged farmers to adopt climate smart agriculture to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“We are also encouraging farmers to make use of this crop residues that we are witnessing from the field. They should also harvest them to make silage and they also have to harvest this crop residues to stock for feeding their animals in times of need,” saidMr Bodi.
The shift in weather patterns across the country highlights the growing threat of climate change and government has put in place deliberate policies to curb the effects of climate induced challenges which include irrigation.