Zimbabwe Drought, A National Disaster: ZCFU

In an interview the country’s most influential farmers’ grouping, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) president, Donald Khumalo said the hunger stalking the country as a result of the 2011/2012 poor rains meant that the government had to act “resolutely”.

“The hunger that people are experiencing is not just a result of low crop yield caused by the dry spell in the country but is also work of the government which is not prioritizing this crisis,” he said.

“As a nation that has always prioritised agriculture, I am shocked that the government is not considering this crisis as a national disaster,” he said.

Khumalo said efforts made by government in curbing food shortages are not enough for the level of the crisis that is being experienced by the farming sector in Zimbabwe.

“It is the duty of the government to feed its people and we are appealing to government to take some form of action and intervene in this disaster,” he said.

The deputy minister of agriculture Seiso Moyo two weeks ago told journalists the government was aware of the crisis facing the country in the farming sector as a result of the drought affecting nearly the whole of Southern Africa.

“We are doing something, especially about cattle in Matabeleland South that are facing a severe drought. The national herd might be wiped out,” he said.

Giving an update of the crop situation in Zimbabwe, a week ago, the Zimbabwe farmer’s Union (ZFU) said from the assessment done it is estimated that about a third of the maize area has been written off.

“The crop has been written off especially in the southern regions of the country such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South, most parts of Matabeleland North and the dry areas of the three Mashonaland provinces, Manicaland, Midlands.

The maize in the high rainfall areas is doing well with the majority between soft and hard dough stages,” said ZFU.