Zimbabwe News

Happy news for farmers as the country expects early rainy season

Happy news for farmers as the country expects early rainy season. The Met Office has predicted normal-to-above-normal rainfall, which may translate to a bumper agricultural harvest if the distribution of the rains is good and the farmers are well-prepared. Zimbabwe is expecting an early rainy season, starting with scattered falls next month, firming into heavy rains in November.

October rains are generally erratic for rain-fed agriculture, but more effective rains are expected from November into December in most places. Flash flooding, violent storms, tropical cyclones, floods in low-lying areas and storms at the onset of the season cannot be ruled out.

This came out during the National Climate Outlook Forum 2020-21, which gives a seasonal rainfall outlook that was presented virtually by Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu yesterday.

The Meteorological Services Department annually convenes a National Climate Outlook Forum where the seasonal rainfall forecast for the upcoming rainfall season is presented to national stakeholders.

This year the forum was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The forum follows the regional Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum, whose statement covers relatively large areas and may slightly differ from the local forecast, as it may not fully account for all the factors that influence national climate variability.

Minister Ndlovu said Region 1, which comprises Harare, most of the Mashonaland provinces, north-eastern parts of Midlands and most of Manicaland will receive normal to above-normal rains from October to March next year.

Region 2, which consists of the greater part of Matabeleland North, parts of Bulawayo, parts of Midlands and parts of Mashonaland West, will receive normal to below-normal rainfall during the period October to December and receive normal to above normal rainfall for the period January to March 2021.

Region 3, which consists of Masvingo, most parts of Midlands, extreme southern parts of Manicaland and the bulk of Matabeleland South, will have normal to above normal rains from January to March. Minister Ndlovu said the rainfall forecast was important as it would be used by all sectors to plan.

“Multi-sectoral stakeholders will use this planning tool, which is critical for enhancing socio-economic development of the nation since weather, and climate information is invaluable to all sectors of the economy, especially as we work towards achieving a middle-class economy by 2030.

“The forecast is for total cumulative seasonal rainfall amounts and is expressed relative to the long-term averages particular to specific locations. It should be used together with the periodic updates: daily, 3-day and 10-day forecasts, issued by the Meteorological Services Department to account for the distribution of rainfall during the season,” he said.

Different sectors represented at the forum gave the implications of the normal to above normal rainfall, with the Disaster Risk Reduction saying there was need for public awareness and sensitisation, continuous communication between Met Services and the Department of Civil Protection, strengthening of early warning systems for cyclones and floods and the need to strengthen responsive social support as part of the recovery strategy.

Agriculture expert, Mrs Rutendo Nhonhonhema, said farmers should choose the correct crop varieties. “High rainfall means an increase in livestock diseases. Farmers should therefore stock up on dipping chemicals and ensure consistent dipping,” she said. For water resources, the rainfall forecast implies filling up of the large dams and overflowing of the small dams.

“Power plants are supposed to be fully operational so that electricity can be generated to the maximum to ensure that no water is lost. There is need for maximum generation of electricity to ensure that there is enough electricity to avoid power cuts,” the energy sector said.

Water departments encouraged rehabilitation and maintenance of reservoirs and dams.  Meteorological Services said there was need for the nation to continue with water harvesting programmes, conservation agriculture practices, borehole drilling and deepening, rehabilitation of irrigation schemes, and protection of wetlands.

Source – The Herald

In other news – Khama Billiat’s youth coaches speak out after age cheating accusations

Khama Billiat’s youth coaches speak out after age cheating accusations. Billiat’s poor form at an equally struggling Kaizer Chiefs lately saw outspoken South African coach Mlungisi ‘Professor’ Ngubane claiming the Zimbabwean might have joined the Absa Premiership with a reduced age.Khama-Billiat Junior

Khama Billiat’s developmental coach Expense Chitukutuku has described allegations that the player might have tampered with his age as…Learn more.

Back to top button