Mwenezi, Zimbabwe (CNN)Jemitias Denhere shakes his head as he explains why, despite being a specialist in soil management and crop production, he specializes in beef livestock.
The district agronomist -- plants specialist -- owns 27 hectares of land in the Mwenezi area of southern Zimbabwe, a particularly arid location. Here, farmers endure extreme weather challenges such as drought and flash flooding -- and, thus, some of the highest food shortages.
His cattle can exist on the little grass that remains during dry times, but to produce crops without irrigation is risky -- so he decided against it. "One year, you win; one year, you will fail; repeat," he said.
But over the past five years, the situation has become worse.
One of the rising uncertainties climate change is bringing to the country: The rains have come much later, with the November rainy season beginning as late as January -- and when it comes, there's less of it, sometimes falling for just one day.
"We're experiencing the worst style of drought. If we receive rains, it will be like a cyclone: very violent, too windy. Very erratic. So you cannot bank on it. Things are changing every day."
As a result, maize, the staple diet of rural Zimbabweans, can no longer be counted on with traditional farming methods.
Denhere, a university-educated professional who has trained in Brazil and China, is one of the lucky ones, with a salary as the district agronomist and 25 cattle.
But about 80% of Zimbabwe's population -- rising to 90% in this area -- are subsistence farmers, meaning they rely on rain-fed agriculture to feed themselves and their families.
Life as a farmer in Zimbabwe is tough, with lack of water, poor sanitation and little food. It's common to have only one or two meals a day of sadza, a porridge dish. Extreme weather is adding to the problem, with most agreeing that conditions are very different from 20 or 30 years ago.