climate change 1.jpgLocal farmers have added their voice to global concern over climate change which they say has affected their operations as they can no longer plan for the future due to irregular rainfall patterns.

 

Climate change resulting from global warming is one of the greatest threats to food security especially in sub Saharan Africa where rainfall patterns are increasingly becoming  unpredictable, hindering successful planning in the agricultural sector.

 

Beneficiaries of the land reform programme have been hard hit by climate change as recurring droughts and erratic rainfall patterns have adversely affected past agricultural seasons.

 

A Farmer Mrs. Mugove Mutize said the shifting of rainfall seasons has caused confusion on the part of farmers as they can no longer know when to start planting their crops.

 

“We don’t know what to do anymore because long back our rivers used to overflow with water but nw its just sand…………The maize I planted last year  was affected by rains and now…..” said Mrs. Mutize.

 

Another farmer Mr. Friday Musarurwa said the extension of the rain season last year negatively affected their maize crop.

 

Climate change expert from the University of Zimbabwe Mr. Amon Murwira and Head of the Climate Change office in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management Mr. Washington Zhakata say there is need for farmers to spread risks by planting crops at different times of the season adding that there is need for a proactive approach such as irrigation and water harvesting among other initiatives.

 

“There is evidence that climate change is real and seasons are unpredictable so business as usual by farmers will not work. There is need to increase the amount of knowledge in people in terms of cropping patterns,” said.Mr. Murwira.

 

As a result of climate change and global warming currently taking place research from the university of Zimbabwe indicates that by 2080 the country will see a reduction in the areas suitable for growing maize from the current 75% to about 60%, while there will be an increase by 10% of the area  suitable for growing the drought resistant sorghum from 50% to 60%.

 

 Climate experts believe it is time government starts planning and putting in place mitigation measures for the benefit of the country.