A councillor in Mberengwa says low rainfall received this year has disrupted the social and economic livelihoods of small scale farmers in rural communities and affected the viability of irrigation schemes.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24, Mataga ward 18 Councillor Ladios Moyo said most of the local dams that used to supply irrigation schemes are now dry.
Mberengwa is one of many communities in rural Zimbabwe that is feeling the impact of low rainfall in a country which primarily depends on agriculture for sustenance of livelihoods.
According to the Zimbabwe Situation Report #4, during the January to March 2020 period, the number of food-insecure people was projected to increase to about 5.5 million, the highest number on record.
“This unprecedented level of food insecurity has resulted from a combination of reduced availability of grains and excessively high food prices, both of which constrain access to food.
“Lower harvests have not only reduced food availability for rural households but have also cut incomes from agricultural-related activities, further compounding the negative effects of inflated food prices.
“Poor rainfall in the first half of the rainy season will be compounded by the forecasted below-normal rainfall in the second half (January to March). Agriculture cropping activity has thus remained below average,” reads the report.