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Climate Change Reality on Rural Farmers


Rural folk across Zimbabwe are beginning to experience the effects of climate change, with crop yields declining as prolonged droughts and erratic rains start taking their toll.

The changing climatic patterns have resulted in food insecurity in some areas as the hectarage of land under the staple maize crop declines.

This has prompted Government and its partners to go on campaigns encouraging planting of drought-resistant varieties such as small grains, in addition to adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

Yesterday, the principal director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Mr Reston Muzamhindo, said climate change was a reality and needed adequate attention.

"Climate change now needs adequate monitoring and research. Zimbabwean agriculture contributes 30 percent to the GDP and the negative effects need to be adequately mapped, communicated and mitigated against.

"The reduction of land available for agriculture will reduce national food security," he said.

A graphic illustration is the case of Munyawiri Village in Goromonzi West.

A villager, who identified himself as Baba vaSaviour, said: "The main problem in this village is lack of safe drinking water. We are now sharing the same drinking water as our cattle and this is very dangerous.

"The lack of water has caused poverty in this village. Our fields are not producing like they used to."

Baba Saviour said the changes in productivity had seen investors shunning the village, because no one wanted to set up a business in a place that had no water and food.

"No one wants to develop the area. Our children are unemployed. Our friends and relatives in the cities tell us that no one will invest here because there is no productivity and there is no water," he lamented.

The Member of Parliament for Goromonzi West, Cde Beatrice Nyamupinga (Zanu-PF), said the falling crop productivity in the area has hit women hardest.

It is estimated that 70 percent of Africa's food producers are women, as men tend to leave communal areas and migrate to towns and cities.

Cde Nyamupinga said, "Women contribute immensely to food security. In Zimbabwe, where the economy is agro-based, women dominate food production and they are left vulnerable by these climatic changes.

"Climate change threatens to worsen poverty and burden already marginalised and vulnerable groups such as women and their children."

On the case of this village, Mr Muzamhindo from the Agriculture Ministry said, "People in Munyawiri should practice new farming methods like zero tillage, mulching, crop rotation, reinforcing contours, stone terracing, conservation farming and rainwater harvesting for better productivity.

"To counter climate change, people need to work together as a team and disseminate information as far as possible for the betterment of their communities."

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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