Farmers here are now optimistic of an average to normal harvest after most parts of the province received some rains during the past three days with those in swampy places even expecting a bumper harvest. A farmer from Zaka, Mr Elias Masendeke of Mureyi Village under Chief Ndanga, said the rains had given him hope as some of his crops were showing signs of recovery.

“We have been waiting for the rains for so long and we are happy that God has finally answered our prayers,” said Mr Masendeke.

“I have one hectare of maize and half a hectare of groundnuts that could have been history if the rains had not fallen this week. Our area and most parts of Zaka District received the rains from Tuesday up to last night. There are also chances that we can receive more rains and we believe the rainy season is with us,” he said.

Ms Rachel Maturure of Mushandike Resettlement said the area had received a considerable amount of rainfall from Tuesday and some streams which had dried up now had a new lease of life.

“I was already counting my losses as I had planted maize seed on a half hectare which was already wilting. Most of the crops in my area were almost a write-off but since the rains started, the situation has improved,” said Ms Maturure.

Another farmer, Mr Elisha Vhezha of Chief Bere area in Masvingo District, said his family was busy replanting because the first crop was a write-off.

“About 60 percent of my crops have wilted due to moisture stress. I have since instructed my family to replant hanks to the rains which have started falling. We received significant rains starting Tuesday and we believe this is what we have been waiting for,” said Mr Vhezha.

Provincial crop and livestock provincial officer Mr Aaron Muchazivepi said the rains were going to save the province from drought and urged farmers whose crops had wilted to replant.

“The challenge we have in Masvingo is we still have the effects of El Nino which is characterised by drought. Most crops had succumbed to moisture stress, but I urge farmers to utilise the rains to replant,” said Mr Muchazivepi.

“As we have been told by the weather experts, the rain season may be short and characterised by low to normal rainfall. Every serious farmer should have this important information so that he or she plans wisely,” he said.

According to the Department of Meteorological Services, the country will receive low to normal rainfall with some areas experiencing flash floods.