THE Meteorological Services Department (MSD) says the rainy season is not yet over with scattered showers expected in March, a little late to save wilting crops.

This spells doom for the country which is already grappling with food insecurity and economic challenges.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), about 2,7 million people, or just over a quarter of the rural population in Zimbabwe, will run short of grain in the first quarter of the year.

MSD head meteorologist, James Ngoma, told NewsDay that the expected rains will be isolated.

“Currently, we are seeing light and isolated showers in most parts of the country,” Ngoma said.

“Rainy season is not yet over as we will get a few more rains in March. The rains have been going round the borders of the country.”

Ngoma said this uneven distribution of rainfall had resulted in mixed agricultural outcomes.

“While some farmers have enjoyed very good harvests due to full dams and favourable conditions, others have faced very low yields due to the limited rainfall in their regions,” he said.

Farmers’ unions said lack of rains and intense heat had severely impacted on crop development, leading to concerns about reduced yields.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union secretary-general, Paul Zakariya, said the rains would do little to save wilting crops.

 “We are not going to get much in terms of yields as we have expected because the situation has already been compromised,” Zakariya said.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president, Shadreck Makombe, echoed similar sentiments.

“Most crops are already wilted and dry. We are not expecting crop resuscitation if the rains come,” Makombe said.

“We are in a drought situation and most farmers made a loss and this has negatively impacted the yields.” — NewsDay

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