BULAWAYO and Matabeleland North provincial agronomist Zenzele Ndlovu has urged farmers to start planting their crops as the rains that were received in the country last month signalled the beginning of the rainy season.

Ndlovu on Monday told Southern Eye that areas such as Nkayi and Bubi have received enough rainfall for farmers to begin planting.

The agronomist urged other areas in Matabeleland that have not received enough rainfall yet, to begin land preparations using dead or live mulch in order to conserve moisture

“We advise farmers that have received enough rainfall to start planting now. Although I do not have all the data, there are areas like Nkayi and Bubi that have received enough rainfall, and they should start planting. Those that have not received rains should continue preparing their land because if they start planting without enough moisture for their seeds, they will rot in the ground,” Ndlovu said.

The agronomist said during the 2021/2022 agricultural season, dry spell of more than 14 days are not expected, as weather forecasts this year have predicted normal to above normal rainfall patterns.

”We urge farmers to stand guided by the five or 10 day weather forecast reports for their farming activities,” Ndlovu said, adding that the rainy season is expected to end in March or extend beyond that month.

Last year, the country experienced above normal rainfall patterns resulting in some farmers yielding bumper harvests compared to the previous years when the country was hit by successive droughts due to climate change related induced drought.

The dry spell affected farmers and livestock.

Over the years, the country has also been affected by a number of cyclones