While farmers in the southern part of the country are grappling with lack of rainfall, the northern part of the country recently experienced a deluge that lasted for some days raising much hope amongst arable farmers in the area.
Following the first rains in the north, farmers under the Tonota, Tutume and Masunga (TOTUMA) arable and commercial Farmers Association are optimistic of a productive season regardless of the poor rainfall forecast by the Meteorological Services Department.
The recent rainfall was widespread in TOTUMA, Francistown as well as surrounding villages. In some villages within TOTUMA, some stations recorded rainfall of around 100 mm.
“As a result of the recent rains we have started land preparation. We are waiting for the second showers so that the soil moisture content can improve which will allow us to start planting,” said TOTUMA chairperson, Jane Erasmus.
Most of the TOTUMA members plough sorghum and maize and the majority have fields averaging 10 hectares. A few plant over 50 hectares of the crops.
Erasmus added that farmers are not putting much stock in the forecast of poor rainfall this season.
“There have been many instances that we decided to fold our arms and decided not to plant anything following a poor forecast by government authorities, only for the area to receive sufficient rainfall,” he said.