Disaster looms as drought pushes farmers to the brink

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that by last month, Botswana’s rains were 50% less than what they should have been. Hundreds of farmers have abandoned their fields and crops are in a poor state. Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI reports

A survey released last week by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirms what many around the country already fear: the poor rains in the first half of the season and their inconsistency in the second have driven away farmers from the fields, blighted crops and left livestock teetering on the brink.

While in the 2016/17 season, a record 100,250 farmers planted a record 384,250 hectares, this year’s El Nino effect dried up the first half of the rain season, keeping even the most optimistic of farmers off the fields.“Since the start of the 2018/19 cropping season in October, anomalous dry conditions have developed across parts of Southern Africa, with more intense moisture deficits registered in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa,” reads the FAO report.

Editor's Comment
A woman’s right to choose: Or is it?

Here in Botswana, we have many single-parent households, mostly female-led, so what does that suggest? That some fathers choose to ditch the responsibility of caring for their children and leave them to the ones who carry them during pregnancy to do the heavy lifting.Of course, in other dynamics, there are instances where the father wants to keep the baby and the would-be mother does not want to, hence the saying ‘whose body is it anyway’.In...

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