Drought cuts soyabeans yield

Prof Mpepereki

Prof Mpepereki

Brenda Ziga Herald Reporter
Low yields for soyabeans are expected this season owing to drought that has hit most parts of the country, the National Soyabean Taskforce (NST) has said.

There has been low production of soyabeans with farmers producing 60 000 tonnes against a national requirement of 240 000 tonnes.

NST chairman, Professor Sheunesu Mpepereki last week said it would be difficult for farmers to have high yields as expected this season because of the dry weather conditions.

“Farmers are struggling due to drought in the country.

“Only those with irrigation schemes are going to have better yields. The current crop of soyabeans is already showing signs of wilting and we do not know how long the crop will survive as there had not been second round of rainfall,” he said.

He said that farmers who were not on irrigation schemes were struggling as they had not received second round of rainfall and the moisture in the soil was no longer adequate for soyabeans.

Prof Mpepereki said that besides poor rains, farmers also faced challenges of lack of funds as some of the banks were not able to give farmers money which was needed for inputs.

“Many farmers are facing challenges as they did not have collateral to access funds from the banks as a result some farmers only planted small areas because of scarcity of resources”, he said.

He said limited experience, lack of technical support and training on how to handle the crop also affected soyabean farmers.

“Most farmers who grow soyabeans have limited experience and they lack technical support and ideas on how to deal with the crop thus resulting in low yields this season”, he said.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Deputy Minister, Cde Davis Marapira last week said all crops had been affected by the climate change.

He said even those farmers with irrigation facilities were not going to get much because rivers were also drying up.

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