Mazvihwa farmers counting losses as crops marooned by heavy rains

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By Emmanuel Hove Mhike

Food insecurity looms in most parts of the country despite some areas receiving above 500ml rainfall since mid November last year, this reporter can reveal.

Scores of farmers in Mazvihwa have lost hope as the rains keep pondering daily. The farmers fear that good yields might no longer be possible as their crops have been marooned by the incessant heavy rains pounding the area since mid-November in 2020.

Speaking with this publication, an Agritex trained master farmer in Mazvihwa, Nyengeterai Kapita bemoan the state of crops especially those planted in sandy soils.

“It’s another difficulty year for us farmers though this time it’s a result of above normal rainfall rather than shortage of it. All my crops except groundnuts have been marooned by these floods,” she said.

In a telephone interview with Community Voices Zimbabwe, one of Mazvihwa Agritex Officers, who demands anonymity, stated that the only way farmers can get good yields is through the use of fertilisers.

“ I can say 50% of farmers embraced Pfumvudza earlier and have their crops doing well. The problem is with crops grown using the common tillage method. Some farmers are selling the fertilizers they got from the government input scheme , in a year like this it’s difficult to have good yields without using fertilizers,” said the Agritex Officer.

The situation is extremely bad in Mazvihwa’s Mountainous area locally known as ‘kumakomo’. The area is home to wetlands and sandy soils. One of the farmers from the area, Petros Hove indicated that no crop is thriving and the fields are no go areas.

“ The situation in the fields is not good, our crops have been destroyed by these floods. The fields are no go areas, you sink and disappear if you try it. Kuda ukatoshandisa chikopokopo(Maybe if you use a helicopter),” he said.

It has been raining incessantly in Mazvihwa for the past 2 months. A research conducted by this reporter revealed that more than approximately 80% of Mazvihwa residents will still need food aid even post harvest. The research also revealed that Sadza crops like Maize, Sorghum and millet are the most affected.

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