Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
MIDLANDS Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya says Zvishavane and Mberengwa Districts may not get the anticipated harvests as most farmers in the two districts did late planting.
The situation has also been exacerbated by Cyclone Dineo which was accompanied by heavy rains that damaged infrastructure in the area and affected crops in the process.
Minister Machaya, however, said some farmers might manage to harvest something if they receive rains at the twilight of this rainy season.
“We are sitting on a bumper harvest in terms of the general outlook of the province but Cyclone Dineo has affected our yield in Mberengwa and Zvishavane Districts. I am also aware that the two districts did late cropping and we just pray that they will get one or two showers just to make sure that their late crop will mature,” he said.
“Otherwise the people in the area will need food assistance like in the past years. This year was going to be a special year for those two districts because they were going to experience their first meaningful harvests in years.”
A traditional leader in Mberengwa Chief Ngungumbane attributed the late planting in the area to a shortage of draught power.
Chief Ngungumbane, who is also a Senator, said most villagers in his area lost cattle during the drought last year whilst those that survived lacked strength to undertake ploughing activities.
“Late planting has been caused by the drought which saw the herd in the districts being drastically reduced. Some of the cattle which survived could not undertake the exercise because they were very weak,” he said.
The chief said villagers who had planted early at some point faced shortages of Ammonium Nitrate.
Ends CKD PN