About 80 percent of the crop that had survived the dry spell that hit Manicaland this season was destroyed by Cyclone Idai-induced floods, leaving the province with a deficit in terms of food supply.
Agritex head for Manicaland Mrs Phillipa Rwambiwa said an initial crop assessment done last week had shown that most crops in Chimanimani and Chipinge had been destroyed since the fields were swept away by the floods.
“Farmers had pinned their hope on areas that were spared by the dry spell, but unfortunately the cyclone destroyed them,” she said.
“The crops were either destroyed by rocks or were left sitting in pools of water.
“Some of the crops are now decomposing because of being in wet grounds although there are some areas where the crops survived, but we can only expect very little yields from those crops.”
Mrs Rwambiwa said people in the area had lost their livelihoods and that there was need for restoration of the area.
“These people have lost their family members, crops and plantations on which they depended on for food,” she said. “They also lost livestock.”
There is speculation that more than 1300 in livestock was swept away by Cyclone Idai.
Horticulture and tobacco specialist Mr Douglas Nzarayebani said about 50 hectares of banana plantations in Rusitu Valley in Chimanimani had been destroyed.
He said teams that had been sent to assess the damage had been unable to reach other areas due to damaged roads.
Mrs Rwambiwa said Agritex had also lost three extension officers during the floods, hence there were no teams on the ground.
“We are still getting information and yet to quantify the total destruction of the banana plantation, but according to some farmers, the situation is terrible and it is going to take some time to recover from the disaster,” he said.