Output plunges at Mosisedi; farmers brace for El Nino

Better days: Mosisedi farmers are amongst the country’s top producers of maize PIC: FACEBOOK
Better days: Mosisedi farmers are amongst the country’s top producers of maize PIC: FACEBOOK

Thanks to low and poorly distributed rains in the last season, Mosisedi farmers tilled just 30% of their land and harvests dropped from three tonnes a hectare to one tonne. Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI catches up with farmers in one of the country’s prime areas for maize production

For commercial farmers in the Mosisedi area, their troubles with the 2022–2023 season began with the rainfall forecast going awry. Last September, the Department of Meteorological Services had forecast “a moderately wet season over the entire country,” with nearly all areas enjoying normal to above normal rainfall.

The now frequent and troublesome mid-season dry spell, which occurs in January, was expected and did occur. What wasn’t expected was its duration – 21 days – and the fact that another 12-day spell hit in March, effectively undoing whatever strategies farmers had put in place to squeeze out a good harvest.

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