Sunday, 14 March 2021

THIEVES WRECK HAVOC ON URBAN MAIZE FIELDS

THIEVES are stealing green mealies from fields dotted in and around the city thereby threatening urban farmers’ food security.

Following good rains this season, farmers in most parts of the country are expecting a bumper harvest. To boost their food security, some Bulawayo residents have turned to urban farming.

Most of these urban farmers have a good maize crop this season but their new headache are the thieves.

Mr Taurai Mathuthu from Luveve suburb said he was forced to harvest his maize before it reached maturity because thieves had started stealing the maize cobs.

Mr Mathuthu who is farming along the Harare-Bulawayo road told Chronicle that he found almost a hectare of his field left with nothing after thieves helped themselves to the green mealies.

“I found almost one hectare out of the three hectares with nothing. I expected to harvest a tonne and above from the fields but this is no longer the case.

“I was forced to harvest my crop early before it reached maturity because I was afraid of losing it all to the thieves,” he said.

Mr Mathuthu said some of the maize being sold in town as green mealies would have been stolen from residents’ fields in and around the city.

“There is urgent need to stop this rampant theft of our crops as this is threatening our food security. We don’t want to queue for mealie-meal as was the case last year after such a good cropping season,” he said.

Another resident who identified herself only as Mamo from Emakhandeni suburb said most of the sthieves operated at night.

“Some of these people are stealing because of hunger while others just want to make money from selling the green mealies. They stole 29 cobs the first time from my field and on the second day they stole 23 and I suspect it was for their personal consumption,” she said.

Ms Siphathisiwe Gumbo, another farmer from Entumbane suburb said thieves were even uprooting her groundnuts to check if they were ready.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said people must not reap where they did not sow.Chronicle

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