La Niña promises a positive 2024-2025 cropping season

Staff Reporter

Farmers across Zimbabwe have expressed optimism following the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) prediction of a possible La Niña development later this year.

This climate phenomenon is anticipated to bring increased rainfall, offering hope for a more productive 2024-2025 cropping season.

Mrs Rachel Nyamukuta, a farmer from Karoi in Mashonaland West, welcomed the forecast saying.

“The La Niña prediction is a relief after the El Niño-induced drought. We desperately need the rain to recover from the past season's losses,” said Mrs Nyamukuta.

Ngonidzashe Shamba, a farmer in the Centenary area of Mashonaland Central, added that La Niña could reverse the low yields of 2023-2024 season.

"La Niña could help households reverse the low yields of the 2023-2024 season. We are hopeful that the increased rainfall will significantly boost our crop production,” Shamba added.

La Niña, is characterized by cooler sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which typically results in wetter conditions for Zimbabwe and other southern African countries. This stands in contrast to El Niño, which brought drought and searing heatwaves during the 2023-2024 farming season.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and other global weather bureaus project that the El Niño conditions, which caused the drought, will likely end by August. This transition to La Niña is expected to bring unusually cold temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, leading to wetter conditions in the region.

This publication got in touch with the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) for a comment, but by the time of going for publication they had not responded.

As farmers look forward to the potential benefits of La Niña, they remain cautious but hopeful that the upcoming season will bring the much-needed rain to revitalize their crops and improve their yields.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has appealed to the United Nations, aid agencies and individuals for US$2 billion, Zambia US$900 million and Malawi US$446,74 million to deal with the drought and avert food insecurity for millions of people caused by an El Nino-induced drought.