Small grains production in Matabeleland South province has enhanced food security for many families where farmers, particularly in Umzingwane district, are growing cow peas, macia sorghum, lelab as well as velvet beans.

Small grains are able to retain moisture as a result of having many roots and as a result of the small leaves, they do not lose as much water.

The mostly dry river bed of the Nzezi river in Umzingwane, whose trickling water tells the story of an area prone to drought provided a perfect location for the Lunga family to harvest the sorghum that they planted.

The rudimentary process of accessing the life saving grain entails using huge sticks to thrash out the grain after it would have been separated from the stalks, winnowing then packing into sacks.

For farmer, Mr Brighton Lunga, the migration towards the drought tolerant small grains was a strategic move that has shown the family from Tererin village that food self sufficiency in the area is indeed possible.

The sorghum variety, which matures in three months means the family at least has something to put on the table.

Development partners and government have had to come to the aid of the Umzingwane community as a result of food shortages in the drought prone area.



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