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Zimbabwe Farmers Urge Cloud Seeding as Drought Withers Crops

  • Industry group says dryness has been more severe than expected
  • Weather office sees normal to below-average Dec.-March rain
Farming In Zimbabwe
Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Updated on

Zimbabwe’s farmers are urging authorities to undertake cloud seeding to ease an early-season drought that’s hurting crops and destroying cattle pastures.

The four-week dry spell has caused some farmers to delay planting summer crops, which include the country’s staple corn, while those who sowed earlier have seen plants withering in the absence of rain. Zimbabwe has for decades seeded clouds with silver iodide, which can thicken them to encourage rain by cooling water droplets and making them heavier. The science is disputed by some meteorologists.