Matabeleland crops experience moisture stress

MOST crops in Matabeleland and Bulawayo provinces are wilting due to a prolonged dry spell that has affected the country in the past month.

Matabeleland North provincial agronomist Zenzele Ndlovu said maize was the worst affected.

Ndlovu told Southern Eye that farmers with irrigation equipment should continue irrigating their crops to avoid wilting.

He said farmers were expecting the Meteorological Services Department to advise them when the dry spell would end.

Farmers in different parts of the country have expressed concern over the possible write-off of their crops as they have been affected by moisture stress.

“Most crops are now in the temporary wilting stage with the maize crop being the most affected as it is now in the early reproductive stages where it needs a lot of rain.

“The small grains are also succumbing to the dry spell. We do not know when it is going to end,” Ndlovu said.

He said early planted crops were doing better than late crops.

Farmers in Matabeleland fear that if the dry spell persists, it would spell disaster for them as all the crops would be a write-off.

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