Rainfall Pattens and Farming Tips for 2019-2020 From An Expert
“The rains are likely to be poorly distributed and farmers should take pant short-season varieties,” said Marilyn Nyaradzo Muzira. This was based on her interpretation of the 2019-20120 Seasonal forecast.
Nyaradzo Muzira is a holder of Bachelor of Science Honours in Agriculture, soil science (2017), Master of Science in Agricultural meteorology (2019) and Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA), Agro-ecological zones team (2019).
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Below is a full comment from her facebook account on her predictions:
This is the Zimbabwean seasonal forecast for 2019-2020. The October to December will have favourable rains ranging from normal to above normal for most parts of the country. Midlands, Bulawayo, Matebeleland South and Masvingo may experience below normal rainfall. In the second half of the season that is January to March, the entire country is expected to receive normal to below normal rains.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE AVERAGE FARMER?
The rains are likely to be poorly distributed. It is wise to plant short-season varieties and also employ water harvesting techniques on the farm to prolong soil moisture availability if longer season varieties are preferred. The period of January to March is often when we are hit by mid-season dry spells. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict the onset and length of the dry spell. Early planting, water harvesting and conservation farming are the way to go if we are to avert a food security crisis.
It is also wise to consult with your local extension services officer to find out what the potential pest and disease threats could be for your crop of choice for such a season.
P.S. A nation whose farmers are poor is a poor nation!
In Zimbabwe, we need more innovative and useful graduate like her.