Speaking to The Herald, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said Government has come up with a major strategy to minimise the effects of erratic rains expected in the 2018-19 agricultural season.
Shiri said the plan includes installation of irrigation infrastructure as well as getting farmers to grow small grains in all farming sub-sectors and regions. Said Shiri:
Unfortunately our meteorological sensors are giving a warning to indicate the possibility of an El Nino, which suggests that the nation may not be able to produce adequate grain in the 2018-19 summer season. Therefore, we need to take pre-emptive action going forward to avert the negative effects of this potential disaster. As part of the grand strategy, various measures are going to be instituted. A2 farmers shall be required to grow at least 10 hectares of sorghum or mhunga for the larger A2 holdings while the smaller holdings are expected to grow at least two hectares of either crop. These must be the human edible forms of either sorghum or mhunga varieties.
He also said it is advisable for farmers to plant their crop in stages in order to minimise losses since the rain distribution pattern for the season is likely to be highly unpredictable.