Communal farmers in Gwanda are already painting a gloomy picture for the 2018-19 farming season due to the continued dry spell facing the district.
In a promising good season farmers in Datata and Dambashoko in Gwanda north under Chief Masuku would by now be seized with weeding their early planted crops but there is no farming activity taking place yet in these areas.
Instead, heaps of manure and weeds are what is most visible in the fields visited by the ZBC News crew.
The dry season has also heavily affected draft power with indications pointing that a herd of more than 200 cattle has already succumbed to drought in Dambashoko area alone, according to community leaders.
“Despite the preparations that we made as farmers for the summer season, this area has not yet received a drop of rain and we are beginning to lose hope,” said one farmer.
“The situation is extremely bad, there are no pastures and water sources are drying and livestock, which we sue as draft power, are in a bad condition. We are really appealing to the government for stock feed,” another farmer said.
Matabeleland South Province had targeted to plant 150 000 under maize and 80 000 hectares under pellet millet and sorghum this summer cropping season.