Small grains (sorghum, pearl and finger millet) are ranked second staple cereal crops after maize in Zimbabwe and play a vital role in the Zimbabwe’s food security and nutrition.
Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humankind today and is already having adverse impacts in Zimbabwe, particularly in rural areas where the majority of the population in Zimbabwe lives and mostly depend on agriculture-based livelihoods. There are increasing calls from government and civil society for the production of small grains, such as sorghum, millet, and rapoko instead of maize production in order to enhance food security against the background of climate change in Zimbabwe. The government of Zimbabwe through H.E. E.D Mnangagwa has taken the lead in the promotion of the growing of small grains.
Research has shown that sorghum and millet have the potential to contribute towards food security in many of the world’s poorest and most food insecure agro-ecological zones like Zimbabwe. It has been argued that sorghum and millet have the potential to improve household food security in semi-arid regions because of their adaptability to such environments.
In this regard CGCDZ took the initiative of improving food security of 250 households in Bikita and Masvingo district through the provision of small grain crops. Each household received one kilogram each of millet and sorghum capable of covering one hectare. During the distribution of the small grains in Bikita, the CEO of CGCDZ encouraged communities to adopt the growing of millet and sorghum which suited the ecology of Bikita as well as taking advantage of the monetary benefits the crops had on the market.
One community member in Bikita Pindeni Chiduwa who received support from CGCDZ in the form of small grains last year showed off the plough and goat she bought from money accrued through brewing of beer from the yield of millet. Community partners welcomed the donation from CGCDZ and pledged to work hard towards improving their income and diet through growing of small grains.
The distribution in Masvingo district in Sipambi area was well received by the community partners who promised to allocate a considerable hectarage towards growing small grains. CGCDZ Operations Manager Mr. Chida Mudadi urged community partners to heed to the effects of climate change by moving away from predominantly maize farming which has failed them for many years by adopting growing of millet and sorghum.
CGCDZ will follow-up giving technical advice from planting up to harvesting and storage of the small grains to the beneficiary farmers in Bikita and Masvingo
Leave a Reply