Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
RURAL communities have been urged to revive the Isiphala SeNkosi concept to ensure they have food to cater for recurrent droughts and climate change induced dry spells.
Speaking at a field day organised by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in conjunction with Agritex department in Jambezi, Hwange District, the Principal director in the Department of Research Special Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Danisile Hikwa said reviving Isiphala SeNkosi was the only way communities could ready themselves for the calamity of drought.
This comes at a time when crops in many parts of the country have been declared a write off due to drought.
Hikwa who was guest of honour at the event at Gavu Village, appealed to organisations working in partnership with the government to help in the revival process.
Jambezi villagers, with the help of ICRISAT and Agritex, have intensified conservation farming in which they have formed the Jambezi Small Grains Seed Producers (Jaspro) where they grow small grain crops.
Provincial Agritex extension officer Dumisani Nyoni reiterated the need for communities to embrace small grains in light of recurrent droughts.
ICRISAT director David Bergvinson said: “We are focusing on climate smart agriculture to help growing of small grain crops as a way of empowering people. ,” he said.
The field day was held at Phillip Tshuma’s homestead under the theme “Climate Smart Agriculture – Combating the El Nino Phenomenon.”