The Financial Gazette reports that Stage 4 will see households and businesses going for at least 4 days of the week with zero power at all.
The bombshell was revealed at a time when farmers are complaining that the country’s food security is now in jeopardy due to decreased production caused by the power blackouts.
The farmers warned that the previously projected harvest of 375 000 tonnes for this year could be halved as a result.
Speaking to the publication, agricultural economist Peter Gambara said,
“The effects of load shedding are devastating, as yields will be very low … and this also means that the farmers’ ability to make money is very limited.”
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) vice-president said,
“Wheat farmers need at least 60 percent of uninterrupted power supply … without electricity, we will not survive … because the crop is not getting the required amounts of water, which will affect yield.”
Jeremiah Tevera, a fellow ZCFU director, said
“The situation is dire, as the hours without power are consistently long, with no solution in sight. We are now encouraging farmers to irrigate their crops at night when the power comes on, because the use of generators will make them unprofitable.”