Drought conditions hit Ariston farms

Staff Writer

Ariston Holdings, a major Zimbabwean agricultural company, reports that El Niño weather patterns have negatively impacted production volumes across its estates.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed firm noted that all three of its estates experienced El Niño-induced drought conditions, though at varying degrees.

Chipinge estates, located in the southeastern part of the country, experienced a 19% decrease in rainfall, while Chimanimani estates in the eastern highlands saw a slight 1% decline. However, the impact was most severe at Norton, situated north of Harare, where rainfall dropped by 21% compared to the previous year.

“The group had mitigatory measures in place, to ensure that production volumes would not be severely affected, however, all dryland agricultural activities were limited,” Ariston’s chairperson Alexander Jongwe said in a statement accompanying financials.

Ariston operates various estates across the country, producing a range of crops including tea, potatoes, and commercial row crops.

The situation at Ariston underscores the severity of the El Niño-induced drought in Zimbabwe. El Niño is a climate phenomenon that disrupts typical weather patterns around the world. In Southern Africa, El Niño is often associated with decreased rainfall, leading to droughts.

Zimbabwe is particularly vulnerable to droughts as a large portion of its agricultural sector relies on rainfall for irrigation.

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