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Zimbabwe: Climate change forces horticultural sector to adapt

At the turn of the new millennium, Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge District has been known to have a great livestock production. However, crop production, especially the horticulture sector, remained at its lowest due to erratic rainfall patterns. Agriculture experts claim that Beitbridge requires an average of 400mm of rainwater for a successful farming season. However, in the last decade, most areas in the district have been receiving 50mm.

Such a setup has seen more farmers, both small-scale and commercial focusing more on cattle ranching. Climate change has altered seasons resulting in low rainfall totals especially in the southern region, which has crippled agriculture output.

The few farmers that have tried their hands-on horticulture often give up even those farming on community irrigation schemes.  Such a scenario resulted in Beitbridge residents importing vegetables from inland Zimbabwe of from South Africa, and this pushed the prices of horticulture-related products.


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