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Tuesday, 09 April 2019 10:39

Second Round Crop harvest estimates projects a decrease of yields in Karonga

Written by  Ireen Kayira
Karonga to register low maize yields due to dry spells- Nyandule Phiri Karonga to register low maize yields due to dry spells- Nyandule Phiri

Lilongwe April, 9 2019: Second round of crop harvest has projected a decrease of maize yields in Karonga district with the decrease of 2.30 percent as compared to last year.

This was disclosed on Monday during a press briefing byMinistry of agriculture irrigation and water development on the second-round of 2018/2019 crop estimatesing Lilongwe.

Principal Secretary for the Ministry Gray Nyandule Phirisaid this growing season the district is expected to have low yields because of the dry spells which the district experienced.

“However, all ADDs will experience an increase in the maize production this growing season compared to the last growing season. Among the ADDs Shire Valley, Blantyre and Machinga are expected to have substantial increase of 109.96, 56.94 and 27.61 percent respectively,” Phiri said.

Total estimates for the country have projected that there will be an increase in the production of maize with 3,355,232 metric tons representing a 24.36 percent increase as compared to the 2017/18 final round of estimates which had 2,697,959 metric tons.

Minister of agriculture irrigation and water development Joseph Mwanamvekha said there is a surplus because normally as a country we consume about 3,000,000 metric tonnesof maize adding that we could have had more surplus if we had not experienced the floods which have reduced the yields with32,000 metric tonnes from the first round of estimates.

“The surplus that we have now is good for the country because despite the decrease we will still have enough food to feed the nation in addition to the maize that we have with national food reserve agency.

He added that the floods that were experienced had a minor effect because the floods happened at time when the crops were at an advanced stage as such most of the crops sub emerged in water and the loss was minimal.

The ministry attributed the surplus results due to good rains and the Farm Imputes Subsidy Program (FISP).

“FISP has made this possible because of the increase number of beneficiaries which made a significant contribution to maize production because of the improved availability and accessibility of maize seed and fertilizer,” said Mwanamvekha.

The second round of estimates is conducted from February to March and focuses on the verification and adjustment of area measurement of crops by sampled households.