IN light of the negative impact of climate change on the country’s Food security status Government is working towards climate proofing the agriculture sector through investing heavily in irrigation systems.
Speaking on the side-lines of the signing ceremony of a US$10.4m grant from the African Development Bank (AFDB), Finance and Economic Development minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, said government will this year provide funds to the District Development Fund and Zinwa to enable them carry out their mandates.
“We are working on ways to climate proof our agriculture from the effects of climate change and the frequent droughts we are experiencing. One area we shall invest in heavily is irrigation to ensure there is food security. Additionally we shall be investing more in DDF and ZINWA to ensure they have adequate capacity to drill more boreholes in the communities”.
The thrust by Government to Climate Proof agriculture comes at a time when erratic and poor rainfall marked the start of the 2019/20 season.
The poor rainfall received to date comes on the back of an EL Nino induced drought experienced in the 2018-19 season which affected agricultural activities and other livelihoods across resulting in millions of citizens requiring food assistance.
The poor rainfall performance during the first half of the season is compounded by the forecasted below normal rainfall during the second half (January to March 2020) of the rainy season.
According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe is susceptible to an array of changes in temperature and precipitation with extreme events such as droughts, heatwaves, heavy rains accompanied by flash floods, strong winds and hailstorms becoming common. As such Zimbabwe will become both hotter and drier under climate change.
The report indicates that the last 30 years have witnessed a trend towards reduced rainfall or heavy rainfall and drought occurring back to back in the same season. There has been an overall decline of nearly 5 per cent in rainfall across.
Zimbabwe’s heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture and livestock has serious implications on food security and livelihoods and other aspects of human development and sustainable development. Drought also has impact on water availability for domestic and industrial use and power generation affecting cities and non-agriculture sectors.