Met dept predicts high rainfall

HARARE - Zimbabwe is set to receive higher than normal rainfall in the forthcoming 2016-2017 season, the Meteorological Services Department (Met department) forecasted.

Presenting the country’s seasonal climate outlook on Wednesday, the Met department said the season was likely to start early, with significant rains to be received as early as end of September this year, especially in the southern areas of the country.

The department said the particular areas expected to experience above normal rainfall were regions one, two and three during the period between October and December this year.

However, the department warned that despite the high chances of higher than usual rains, “in terms of national strategic planning and development, Zimbabwe should always expect and plan for one form of drought or another”.

The normal rainfall for regions one, two and three is 307mm, 248mm and 261mm respectively.

Region three comprises of Masvingo, the greater part of Midlands, southern parts of Manicaland and the most of Matabeleland South.

Between December and February 2017, regions one and three are expected to receive normal to above normal rains.

The department urged government to distribute inputs to all regions early.

“In view of the moisture availability and suitable temperature thresholds, those with water should not wait for the main rains to fall. They can plant any time now,” it said in a statement.

“It is now extremely rare for the whole country to experience the same weather conditions,” the department said, adding that “there is need to continue with water harvesting programmes already underway, especially those in agro ecological zones IV and V”.

The Met department further said the application of fertilisers should be guided by 10-day weather forecasts as well as advice from agricultural authorities.

“The 10-day weather forecasts will be issued from October until April,” it said.

“Incentives for maize production in support for command agriculture should be announced as soon as possible, rather than wait until the middle of the season.”

“The government should be mindful that many communal farmers lost cattle during the recently drought, there is need to allocate some tractors and associated implements to them. After all, the bulk of the crop that goes to the Grain Marketing Board comes from small-scale,” the department said.

Comments (1)

No more excuses Braii farmers!! Get to work

X-MAN IV - 9 September 2016

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