HARARE, (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe will likely experience an El Nino phase,
which will result in erratic rainfall during the 2018/19 farming
season, a government official said on Wednesday.
This will be the
second drought for the country in three years, following an El
Nino-induced drought in 2016 that left a quarter of the rural
population in need of food aid.
That drought was
Zimbabwe’s worst in 30 years.
rainfall season is pointing towards an El Nino phase,” said
Grace Mutandiro, permanent secretary in the Ministry of
Environment, Water and Climate.
“El Nino is
associated with above-average warming of the surface temperature
of the Pacific Ocean and in most years is usually associated
with reduced rainfall activity over the sub-region,” Mutandiro
“We are informed by
science that approximately 62 percent of El Nino phases have
resulted in below-normal rainfall in Zimbabwe, leaving us with
less than 40 percent chance of good rains during this coming
season,” Mutandiro told the media.
season usually runs from October to March.
Agriculture is the
mainstay of the country’s economy, contributing 10.46 percent to
its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.
under-mechanized agriculture sector is mostly rain-fed.
2.15 million tons of maize in 2017, the highest yield in two
decades, due to favorable weather conditions and a special
program for import substitution.