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Rains maintain hopes of a bumper harvest

The rains received across the country have maintained high hopes of a bumper harvest among farmers in the drought-prone Matabeleland region after two consecutive seasons of crop failure and crippling drought.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) predicted normal to above normal rains during the 2020/2021 cropping season.

While in the previous seasons, rains have been erratic, this time around most areas across the country have been receiving good rains since late last year.

“This year is promising in terms of a better if not a bumper harvest considering the rains that we have been receiving,” said Thabani Dube, a Mangwe farmer.

“If it continues raining like this there is no doubt our harvest will be great, thanks to God for the rains. January has been known to be a dry month but this year, things have changed. We are having good rains.”

A recent visit to Matobo and Mangwe recently, considered some of the driest parts of the country, revealed that a number of fields were blossoming in green unlike in the past two seasons.

“The rains are a blessing to us this season and those who were not lazy to plough their land will have a better harvest compared to previous seasons,” said Dalumuzi Ncube, a farmer in Mbembeswana, Kezi.

Despite the fall armyworm threat on crops, farmers are by and large convinced that this year’ yields will be better than in the past two seasons.

“There is hope this year although rains delayed a bit,” said Tebogo Nare, a farmer in Gwanda South.

“My crops are almost a metre high. I haven’t seen the fall armyworm, and I hope it won’t get to our area this year. I have grown sorghum, maize, beans, groundnuts and other crops.”

Nare said while his area (Ward 12) received rains late unlike Ward 16 and others, they were still optimistic of a better harvest.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo’s dams have received significant inflows with combined water levels rising to 40.6 percent capacity.

All of the city’s six dams are now operational following the re-commissioning of those that had been decommissioned when the water crisis worsened.

According to the latest dam statistics released Sunday by the Bulawayo City Council, Insiza Mayfair is 50.87 percent full, Inyankuni 47.19 percent, Mtshabezi 30.71 percent, Upper Ncema 28.32 percent, Lower Ncema 21.05 percent and Umzingwane stands at 20.91 percent.

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