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Programs Set Up in Rural Zimbabwe in Response to Drought

Most farmers in Zimbabwe, both commercial and communal, want to quickly forget the 2015-2016 farming season. It is the year in which a ravaging El-Nino driven drought left lasting scars in their communities as the country faced serious hunger. But the challenge is far from being over. Experts say the country should expect yet another catastrophe as they have predicted the coming of cyclone La Nina this year. The phenomenon, which will be accompanied by excessive rains and floods, is likely to lead to another drought.

As the country approaches the 2016-2017 farming season, farmers are expected to draw from lessons learnt from the previous spell and build sustainability in terms of their activities in preparation for the new season. A majority of farmers didn’t plant anything in the just-ended season while some watched helplessly as their crops failed because of “poor timing.”

Agricultural Extension Services officers are encouraging farmers to plan ahead and embrace Information Communication Technologies (ICT), if they are to sail through. A number of programmes have been started in rural areas especially in Matabeleland North province by Agritex and its non-governmental organisations partners such as Environment Africa, CAFOD, Caritas and the European Union where farmers are challenged to ride on technology to be able to beat the effects of climate change.

Jeff Walker/CIFOR

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