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Load Shedding Threatens Winter Wheat

Power cuts in some parts of Matabeleland South Province are threatening this year’s winter wheat crop as farmers are unable to pump water for irrigation.

Matabeleland South provincial agricultural officer Mkhunjulelwa Ndlovu said while farmers that rely on solar power and gravity are not affected, those that rely on the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) for electricity to pump water are struggling due to load shedding. Said Ndlovu:

Some farmers are managing the crop well, however, where the source of power to pump water is electricity from the country’s power utility, ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company), there are some challenges due to load shedding.

Load shedding has affected the rate of top dressing and the frequency of irrigation. We’re hopeful it’s going to improve so that we achieve a good harvest.

At the likes of Guyu and Mtshabezi irrigation schemes where we usually rely on the ZPC for electricity, there are challenges because of load shedding. Those who are using solar and gravity are okay.

This includes areas like Arda Ingwizi and Arda Antelope where farmers resort to the use of generators which is very expensive.

Beitbridge is also facing the same challenge in terms of power supply at irrigation schemes. Commercial farmers around ward 14 are also affected.

More: Chronicle

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