Small grains provide food security in climate change affected Gwanda

Gwanda district in south eastern Zimbabwe is located in agro ecological region 5 which is characterized by low rainfall which rarely exceeds 650mm per year and is poorly distributed.

The district is dominated by Kalahari sands which have poor water holding capacity and are low in plant nutritional levels that cannot sustain crop life without the addition of chemical or organic fertilisers.

Serious food insecurity and hunger have over the years affected Gwanda district due to low rainfall and poor soils and leaving rural households with limited alternative livelihood opportunities.

The production of small grains such as sorghum can effectively address food insecurity in the district and other areas with similar climate.

Sorghum can grow well in all the areas where maize, the staple food in mant countries in Southern Africa cannot do well, and has the potential to withstand very high temperatures.

Sorghum has been one of the most important food crops in the Matabeleland South rural areas and has clear advantages over maize.

Farmers in Matabeleland South have over the years been encouraged to grow small grains which are drought resistant.

This is because Matabeleland South including Gwanda district is usually characterized by poor rainfall patterns and long periods of dry spells.

Over the past decade, rain fed agriculture has not performed well, mainly due to the effects of Climate Change.

Some farmers have begun growing sorghum as a way of enhancing their food security.

One such farmer is Pauline Dube who has understood that sorghum can grow well in low rainfall areas like Gwanda district, compared to maize.

Over the years, she has tried to grow maize for her household consumption but it has always failed due to the negative effects of Climatic Change.

After receiving seed donated to her by a locally based Non Governmental Organisation, NGO, as well as receiving training by extension officers on crop diversification she successfully applied the new found knowledge on improving food security and livelihoods.

She hopes this will turn out to be a positive initiative in addressing food security in her household and community.

During training, the farmer was encouraged to use improved varieties of sorghum such as marcia.

She was also taught on varietal selection and crop improvement.

Pauline was able to plant sorghum on 0.8 hectares of her land.

From that, she is expecting to harvest an estimated 1.5 tons of sorghum.

The harvest will be enough to feed her family of five members for more than twelve months and sell the surplus to other rural communities.

Sorghum can withstand dry conditions and yield positively under very low moisture level and poor soil conditions, thus, providing farmers with adequate food where maize and other food sources fail.

In addition, after harvesting, the left over material from the sorghum crop can be used as stock feed.

She says food made from sorghum tastes better than that made from maize and provides better nutrients particularly preferred by diabetic and other patients. – ACCCKF.ORG.ZW

One Response to Small grains provide food security in climate change affected Gwanda

  1. mama hope August 29, 2018 at 2:59 am #

    Words cannot describe how happy I am from the moment i met Mama Hope the lady behind this website. I am sharing this testimony in a very emotional state. Mama Hope is good, and I cannot thank her enough for her help and mercy over my family and me, inspite of all my imperfections. Two years after we were married my husband got an accident on N1 in 2010. Not something you expect to encounter in your 20’s. It certainly wasn’t a part of our life plan. We had done everything right. I completed University. He did college. We were just starting in good positions. Just starting to earn a good income. We were saving for a house and trying to start a family. He was a very active man, riding his Harley, working as a mechanic… And all of it came to a blind-sided halt; in one instant it all changed.At times I felt so frustrated that I was solely responsible for EVERYTHING; yard work, house work, kids, dinner, bills, the list is endless. I felt like I was on a carousel of endless duties and it is very overwhelming a lot of days. The truth is, he didn’t ask for this disability, he didn’t ask to be paralyzed; it just happened. It may have changed him physically but it never changed our love for each other. I would go to churches pray with pastors day and night for all those years but nothing happened, his cousin got us a private doctor who used to come home three times a week but we didn’t get any results as we expected. One day when i was on google, i saw these psychics and i decided to contact some of them, I then bumped into Mama Hope +27635876438 who told me alot about accidents and i felt she had much experience about what she was saying. I got an off and drove to meet her at her office and she told me to bring my sick husband to her over the weekend. We went there and she would take her time working on my husband, using her african medicine. For a whole month my husband recovered and now he’s ok. To me it felt like a miracle because i had lost hope that he’ll never walk again! She also helped us to get our accident funds and we’ve manage to rise again, as my husband has managed to set up his own autospare shop in Pretoria and life came back on track again. I want to thank Mama Hope +27635876438 for sparing my husband’s life in a split second. I also want to pray for the people that were involved in the accident, and I pray that God will preserve their lives. Thank you for reading my testimony, I pray that God’s protection will always be upon us in Jesus name.

AMH logo

© 2021 The Zimind. All Rights reserved.

DMMA logo