Categories: Africa

Zimbabwe’s maize crops under threat

The maize crop in Zimbabwe's south-western Matabeleland region is suffering serious moisture stress that could result in permanent wilting if…

The region, like most of that country, last received rain in December 2017.  High temperatures since then have taken a toll on dryland maize, according to Winston Babbage, chairman of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union in Matabeleland North Province.

“The dry spell has been too long.  If the dry [conditions] and high temperatures persist, I am afraid this season would [turn into] a drought.”

He said the rainy season started with moderate rain in November, which enabled farmers to plant, but the rainfall activity deteriorated as the season progressed.

The current threatening drought follows the 2016/2017 rainy season which has been described as the most successful in 17 years, with farmers harvesting a record three million tons of grains, 2,1 million of which was maize.

In August last year, the Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-21) warned that the Southern African Development Community was likely to receive normal to below normal rainfall in the first half of the season from October to December 2017, followed by normal to above rainfall, with a risk of flooding in the second part from January to March 2018.

Meanwhile, heavy rain in northern Mozambique during early January caused flooding which destroyed homes and infrastructure.

Recent Posts

No pay rise for MPs as govt seeks to close budget deficit

South Africa is not immune to events in the global economy and the expected slowdown in world economic growth will…

14 hours ago

Treasury cuts land reform budget

The allocation from National Treasury to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) will decrease from just under…

14 hours ago

More money for black farmer development in Mboweni’s budget

The national budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, which was tabled by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in Parliament today, represented,…

15 hours ago

City rooftops: the next frontier for farming

You don’t have to have green fingers to grow lush vegetables and herbs. But you do have to have a…

17 hours ago

Syringa berries are highly toxic

Syringa berries are highly toxic to livestock as well as children and dogs, warns Prof Cheryl McCrindle of the University…

2 days ago

Latest rhino poaching statistics called into question

While the 25% decline in rhino poaching incidences in South Africa between 2017 and 2018 should be cause for celebration,…

2 days ago

This website uses cookies.