Home Business Government Addresses Nation on El Niño-Induced Drought Challenges and Steps Up Efforts...

Government Addresses Nation on El Niño-Induced Drought Challenges and Steps Up Efforts for Food Security through Enhanced Irrigation Capabilities

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The government has officially communicated to the nation that the initial phase of a comprehensive assessment covering crops, livestock, and fisheries is currently in progress. This thorough evaluation aims to establish the scope of planted crops, evaluate their present condition, and determine the status of livestock and fisheries. The primary goal is to estimate seasonal production, providing crucial insights for well-informed planning and the implementation of strategic policy interventions.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, Minister of Media, Information, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, expressed regret over the country grappling with the challenges of an El Niño-induced drought. This is characterized by a delayed onset of rains and prolonged dry spells, despite the implementation of climate-proofing measures tailored to agroecological regions. Consequently, numerous crops have succumbed to unfavorable climatic conditions.

In addressing the actuality of the El Niño situation, Minister Muswere highlighted the country’s 10,600 dams, emphasizing their capacity to irrigate 2 million hectares. Currently, 217,000 hectares are operational for irrigation, with a noteworthy 72,000 hectares dedicated to irrigated maize cultivation during the 2023-2024 season.

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Regarding irrigation efforts, Minister Muswere underscored the government’s commitment to achieving food self-sufficiency. He noted a steady enhancement in irrigation capabilities, witnessing an annual increase of 10,000 to 15,000 hectares from 2020 to 2023. This signifies a significant improvement compared to the previous range of 2,000 to 3,000 hectares.

He said these measures are integral to the government’s strategy to bolster agricultural resilience and work towards ensuring sustained food production amid challenging climatic conditions.

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