Farmers urged to grow small grains

HARARE - Farmers should start adopting small grains in exchange for maize if they are to adapt to the increasing climate change, World Food Programme (WFP) country director Eddie Rowe said.

Rowe said: “The most glaring impact that we are seeing is that 80 percent of Zimbabwe is engaged in rain-fed agriculture, and so any climatic impact would have devastating effect on productivity and that’s what we are seeing now. More farmers should take up farming of small grains like sorghum and millet.

“Most of the rural areas have not received adequate rainfall to enable them to cultivate the staple maize and that has a ripple impact on the urban population because almost 80 percent of food in the towns is produced in the rural areas.”

“If we do not have production there, there would be high food prices in the urban areas because we would have to rely on imports of food commodities which would triple. We have this chain of impact which is directly linked to the impact of climate change on agriculture in Zimbabwe,” Rowe said.

He said over the last two years, they conducted successful pilots of small grains with farmers in Mudzi were they produced and sold their surplus sorghum. 

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