The annual rains have arrived in full force in the usually drought-ridden area of Tsholotsho, in, Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland, bringing much-needed water for newly planted fields, and filling the natural waterholes and dams. With this area being notoriously difficult to farm, due to poor soil, extreme temperatures and an erratic rainfall pattern, it has provided relief for farmer, livestock and wildlife alike!
Community members, benefiting from the Wilderness Safaris and CITW food security programme, are thrilled that the hard work of ploughing and planting is finally paying off, with an 80%-plus germination rate in the majority of the 62 hectares ploughed by Wilderness Safaris. The growth and progress of the hardy crops, millet and sorghum, is a remarkable sight, uplifting the spirits of the communities of Ngamo, Ziga and Mlevu, whose residents anticipate a promising yield.
The harvest in April/May will provide the most vulnerable families in the area with a nutritious staple for the year, thus alleviating the issue of food security that usually occurs around this time of the year, and providing an income by selling off the excess. Wilderness Safaris is set to procure this excess for staff rations, and as an alternative flour to create the amazing local heritage menu items in its Hwange camps – what’s more, it is gluten free.
How wonderful to see the progress of this project so far! CITW is optimistic that this is only the start of a much greater and sustainable ‘Earth to Plate’ programme going forward.
By Courtney Pritchard, CITW Zambezi