Veld fires ravage eight hectares of wheat
MARONDERA- Eight hectares of wheat and three hectares of barley were destroyed in recent fire incidents, Mashonaland East Provincial Agricultural and Rural Development Advisory Services acting director Learnard Munamati has revealed.
Of the eight hectares of wheat burnt, five were burnt in Murehwa while three hectares was destroyed by fire in Hwedza and the three hectares of barley was burnt in Marondera.
In an interview with this publication, Munamati said the province has since activated a committee that is educating the public on fire prevention whilst at the same time calling on farmers to construct fire guards around their farms and protect their yields from these veld fires.
“Following this huge lose which will have a negative bearing on the tonnage that we expect, a committee comprising of Environmental Management Agency, Forestry Commission, Ministry of Agriculture and Zimbabwe Republic Police has been activated at the provincial level to distribute fire prevention information, prosecute perpetrators, report daily fire incidents and educate people.
“As we always say, it is mandatory for farmers to construct standard fire guards around their farms especially those with wheat. Farmers with wheat should not delay to harvest their wheat as soon as it becomes due.
‘’We also urge our farmers to have localised committees to educate people that we are currently in a period where it is prohibited by law to start a fire outside. Team work by neighbours helps to identify perpetrators so that they are prosecuted. A2 and Large Scale farmers must train their workers on how to control fire in case of an outbreak,” Munamati said.
More than 174 000 ha of land has been affected by veld fires in Mashonaland East and apart from ravaging crops, the veld fires have also two killed people and destroyed houses, leaving most people homeless.