Mmegi Online :: Cyclone Dineo cancels Masunga farmersí Field Day
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Last Updated
Monday 24 April 2017, 03:05 am.
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Cyclone Dineo cancels Masunga farmersí Field Day

FRANCISTOWN: Heavy rains caused by Cyclone Dineo and the devastation on agricultural activities in Tonota, Tutume, Masunga (TOTUMA) have forced the cancellation of the areaís annual Field Day.
By Lesedi Mkhutshwa Thu 20 Apr 2017, 17:28 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Cyclone Dineo cancels Masunga farmersí Field Day








The event, a marketing highlight of the area agricultural calendar, was due to be held on April 19 and 20 in Masunga.

From forecasts of a bumper harvest, farmers in the region say Dineo’s floodwaters and devastation are pointing to low yields and nothing to exhibit at the field day.

TOTUMA Arable and Commercial Farmers Association chairperson, Priscilla Monthe said the field day was called off as the excessive rains experienced during the ploughing season had rendered most farmers helpless.

“We are now expecting low yields this year because the heavy rainfall brought unfavourable conditions for arable farming.

“Some of the farmers failed to plough due to the excessive rainfalls and those who did, failed to plant different seeds until the ploughing season came to an end.

“Some of the promising fields were located in Toteng village but lots of crops suffered from water logging which in this case deprives plants of oxygen,” she said.

Monthe explained that crops need oxygen for cell division, growth and the uptake and transport of nutrients. Water logging can also indirectly impact cereal growth by affecting the availability of nitrogen in the soil, she said.

Monthe said in the wake of Dineo’s

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destruction, many fields in the region looked yellow and stunted, while crops in others were pale green and developing behind schedule.

“Some farmers who ploughed between December and January have seen their crops struggling to emerge due to uncontrollable weeds in fields and they have been unable to spray these weeds as the fields are too wet,” she said.

Some farmers had replanted after the rain, but these crops were yet to be harvested.

“In general most of the farmers in the area have nothing to harvest and this was just another pain of the ploughing and harvest season.”

The field day was meant to educate and empower farmers about ways of improving their farming methods, which would ensure professionalism and maximum profit.

Reuben Buzwani, who would have been the host farmer for the Field Day, described the cancellation as “a total setback” for both farmers and the Association.

“I blame Cyclone Dineo because the heavy rains came and destroyed all of our hard work. Some of us managed to plough but we have nothing to harvest and others did not get the opportunity to do so until the ploughing season was over,” he said.

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