Heavy Rains in Zimbabwe provide relief for Small Scale Farmers

Pleasant times for the Diwa family in the rural skates of Mashonaland West a province in Zimbabwe, as the rain season revives the grasslands for better pastures. Most parts of Zimbabwe have experienced exceeding levels of precipitation in the last half of the rain season as winter approaches the Region. Mashonaland West as one of the few regions of the country that seldom experience drought, has this season received what the residents have identified as excess rains that in most instances have been identified as the major cause of crop and soil erosion. Even though the rest of the country might have suffered a drought that has not been the case for Mashonaland West and certainly for Mr. Diwa a Small scale farmer in that region. In an interview with Mr. Diwa on Saturday 26 April, It has been a good season for him and his family as the crops particularly maize in the fields is almost ripe and the river waters have been resuscitated. According to him, there is enough harvest and food for him and his family as well as enough food for his livestock particularly the goats and the cows.

Mr. Diwa is happy that because the grasslands have been resuscitated, his livestock have survived the dryness and the goats have doubled in number since the beginning of last year.  It has been a tough time for him and his family because of the deteriorating economic situation. Agriculture is the only source of income for the family has disadvantaged the family since the country has been struck by a drought in late 2019. According to Mr. Diwa, most farmers have resorted to using the reserves for food instead of reserving them as seeds for the next season. The drought, lack of jobs, the deteriorating economic conditions, and the most devastating Covid-19 pandemic have all left small-scale Zimbabwean farmers in a desperate situation and need some government intervention to sustain farming and livelihoods.

Mr. Diwa is hopeful of a bumper harvest regardless of his failure to buy the necessary farming inputs ahead of the farming season mainly due to financial reasons. The trend has been that all small-scale farmers would receive some sort of government assistance in terms of farming inputs. That has changed over the years and has left many small-scale farmers struggling. Mr. Diwa looking at his ever-expanding herd of goats and cattle; is hopeful to slaughter some of the livestock for meat and to sell them for cash. This will bring some form of relief to his family and hopefully he might be able to purchase the necessary farming inputs for the next coming farming season, Mr. Diwa pointed out.

Author: Ryan. C

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