Agronomic practices for the low rainfall regions of Zimbabwe
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Despite the lack of technical support, peasants in the low- rainfall regions have been growing crops for ages. The major crop has been sorghum. Although sorghum is widely recognized as well adapted to semi-arid environments, it fails completely in some years. In most years the yields are very low under the present farming system. The best way to produce crops in this region is by irrigation (and indeed the south east lowveld has the biggest portion of NR5 under large and small scale irrigation schemes). But the high cost of setting up irrigation schemes means that the production of crops by small scale farmers will continue to depend on rain-fed production. This means that success in cropping depends on using agronomic techniques which conserve or use water sparingly to enable the crop to survive under the low rainfall conditions and to go through the long dry spells common in these areas.