By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwe is currently seen from a viewed angle of far stretched success in eradicating climate shocks . The country has over the past decades been bankrolled by Agriculture . In the 1980s when SADC was SADCC ,(Southrn Africa Co-ordination Conference) the country was responsible for food security in Southern Africa . Agriculture has been the drive for the country .
This remained a balcon , pinnacle and mainstay of the economy until a time climate change became a new challenge for farmers. The phenomenon brought with it erratic , unpredictable , straying and crop threatening weather conditions. These were in form of low rains , heavy incessant damaging rains like cyclones and heat-wave .The most affected cereal crop , maize lowered food security at family , national and regional levels .This created extreme food in-security, poverty and vulnerability to food security , supply and distribution.
Despite recent bite of climate change in the Southern African region , resilience , mechanised and technical effort in battling climate change recorded far ahead in positive results . This has been meant to stand formidable against starvation at family , hunger at national and famine at regional level consecutively.
Last year 2021 the country produced 3 million tons of cereals which records 80 percent average growth in Agriculture commodities production. The output in general consisted of mainly cereals , that is maize in huge tonnage capacity . This surpassed yields of recent years .These experienced severe climate shocks resulting from changing , undulating patterns in rainfall patterns , unpredictable weather resulting in dry spells , sometimes abnormal wet conditions , frost action on crops and cyclones turning disastrous . This affect crops thereby impacting negatively on food security.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands , Agriculture, Water ,Fisheries and Rural Resettlement Dr John Bhasera pointed out recently to Pan-African-Visions that conservation farming known as pfumvuza is a strong force of farming method which has wrestled climate change . This , he says has helped farmers fight against disasters , shock of climate change which relates to at times/ sometimes heavy rains brought by la -nina ( variations in ocean temperatures) and low rains by el-nina (un-usual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific ocean . Other shocks relates to rising sea levels , shrinking mountain glaciers , ice melting at faster rate ,frost , hail , storms , pests and heat wave.
“There is a task team chaired by the Agriculture Finance Corporation Insurance which works with the Area Yield Index Crop Insurance. This facility protects farmers , insures their crops from all forms of climate shocks like heat wave , low and heavy damaging rains , cyclones , climate induced disasters and droughts “”
” Under this scheme , farmers benefit inputs which they use to fight against agricultural drought , pests evasion , initiation of early crop planting and harvesting using conservation practices and best methods for a win win situation . This is how we have fought against intense challenges of climate shocks in the past few years since this started””
“There is no doubt what so ever that we have conquered effects of climate change through conservation farming . Unlike in the past farmers could lose their harvest to effects of climate change shocks . Farmers have been trained to wrestle against climate change , equipped with all the equipment and knowledge to get prepared through implementation of policies best suiting combatting climate change “
Regional Director for Anglo-phone countries standing for Pula Agricultural advisors Cynthia Tapera said farmers have benefitted from the Area Yield Index Crop Insurance which provides protection to farmers so that they fight shocks of climate change .
“” Shocks of climate change have overtime pulled down farmers who rely on Agriculture for their survival . These farmers benefit from an insurance scheme which protects them from possible risk of heavy rains , low rains , storms , hail storms , frost , pests , scorching sun and all forms of drought like meteorological drought , Agricultural and hydrological one . So far farmers have had better harvests and this covers maize production value chain around the country “
“This agricultural season the program has helped 300,000 farmers at a cost of $US 1 million dollars in some rural areas where the program has been hailed after benefiting millions of farmers across the country.More financial support is needed to implement the whole program country-wide “, he ended his talk .
Mercy Corps Agri-Fin-Digital Farmer-2 (A-F-DF-2) contracted pula advisors to push towards assistance and enforce implementation of the Area Yield Index Crop Insurance to pave smooth way for conservation farming which has successfully grown big with the name pfumvudza , inxala , “dhiga udye” .