Drought resistant hybrid seed varieties that are also pest tolerant have increased yields in the drought prone area of Gokwe North.

Small holder farmers in Gokwe Nembudziya say the new drought tolerant seed varieties have brought optimism as yield increased in the dry area of Gokwe North following consecutive droughts as a result of climate change.

The drought and pest tolerant new hybrid seed varieties are produced under the global maize programme of the international maize and wheat improvement centre (CIMMYT) and the farmers said growing them has reduced hunger and poverty.

A senior scientist and maize breeder at CIMMYT Mr Cosmos Magorokosho said to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure food security they have stepped efforts to produce  seed varieties that are drought and pest tolerant.

Magorokosho also said they are also complimenting government efforts of food fortification by breeding seed varieties that are rich in nutritional value.

Zimbabwe is one of the Southern African countries that was affected by the El Nino weather phenomenon which resulted in drought that severely affected Gokwe.