Harare — 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 that 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. However, the science is disputed by some meteorologists. “We expected a drought, but didn’t think it would be this serious, this early,” said Wonder Chabikwa, the president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union. While it’s too early to estimate the effects on harvests, the government should start cloud seeding to “save the situation”, he said. Zimbabwe has endured intermittent food shortages since the government began an often-violent programme that seized most white-ow...

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