FARMERS in Nyanga have been urged to irrigate their crops at night to save them from frost following predictions of extreme cold winter conditions by the Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe (MSD). According to the Met department, Nyanga district is among the areas that are expected to continue registering the lowest temperatures this winter.
Nyanga District agriculture extension officer Mr Shadreck Chingombe said horticulture farmers in Nyanga should irrigate their crops during the night to maintain the moisture in the ground.
He said low temperatures usually disturb tomato and potato production and urged farmers to shift to other plants which survive under cold temperatures.
“We expect this kind of weather to destroy potatoes and tomatoes in the district. Farmers should therefore plant crops like peas, cabbage and cauliflower because they survive during cold temperatures. Currently, the district is importing tomatoes from other districts and other parts of Nyanga with warmer temperatures such as the irrigation schemes in Nyamaropa,” he said.
Manicaland chief meteorological officer Mr Lucas Murambi said Nyanga recorded its lowest temperatures of -0,1 °C on May 14.
“On May 14, Nyanga district recorded -0,1 °C ground temperature while the screen temperature recorded 5 °C. On May 13, the screen temperature was 4,5 °C while ground temperature recorded 0,1 °C.
“On this day there was slight frost recorded in the morning. Towards the end of the month which is from May 24 to 27 the district cold temperatures were ranging from 9 °C to 5 °C ground temperature,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nyanga district will hold a field day this week to promote bean production in schools.
Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Vangelis Haritatos is expected to grace the occasion.
“There is a bean variety that we are trying to promote in school gardens which is known as the NUA 45. It has added nutrients such as iron.
“We have been conducting these field days since last year and we have been offering the seed for free to schools in order to promote bean farming,” said Mr Chingombe.