I was pushing the stroller this morning, singing the old Thanksgiving hymns (“Come Ye Thankful People,” “We Gather Together,” “We Plow the Fields and Scatter the Good Seed on the Ground”) and thinking of harvests.
So today might be a good time to blog about harvests and drought-resistant crops.
“Scientists are developing faster-maturing and drought-tolerant varieties of corn and cotton,” writes Madalitso Mwando at AlertNet, “holding out the hope of much-needed relief for thousands of farmers across Zimbabwe.
“As planting season approaches amid concerns about successive poor harvests, research into drought-resistant seeds is gaining momentum …
“Zimbabwean farmers have suffered a succession of poor harvests with yields far below what the country needs, forcing the agriculture ministry repeatedly to revise its projections for harvests.
“Farmers and their unions blame the cyclical uncertainties of their sector not only on a lack of up-to-date farming technology, but also on their inability to obtain seed varieties that can survive the low rainfall caused by climatic shifts. …
“The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe and Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI), has developed a drought-resistant variety of maize (corn) seed called Sirdamaize 113.
“Farmers have had to wait between 150 and 180 days before harvesting their traditional maize crop, but the center says the new seed takes only 136 days to mature.” Read more.
I hope a bountiful harvest was represented at your dinner table today.
With gratitude to blog readers for reading,
Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters/File
Martha Mafa, a subsistence farmer, stacks her crop of maize (corn) in Chivi, about 378km (235 miles) southeast of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.