THE Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) has projected that the maize production for the 2012/13 farming season will hit 2.47 million tonnes, with 97 per cent of the total output coming from the small and medium scale farmers.
Addressing Journalists in Lusaka yesterday, ZNFU president Jervis Zimba said the latest survey results indicated that the maize production for the 2012/13 season was expected to be around 2.47 million tonnes compared to 2.5 million tonnes for the previous season.
The ZNFU survey was conducted countrywide, covering both rural and urban areas in all the 10 provinces, while data on large-scale production was collected from all large scale farmers on the ZNFU membership data base.
Mr Zimba said the ZNFU Lima credit scheme had contributed 19,524 hectares to the total area under maize production.
“Expectations are that the yields per hectare from the Lima farmers will be about three tonnes per hectare on average, hence a total of approximately 58,572 tonnes per hectare was recorded in the survey,” he said.
He said the timely delivery of inputs and good crop husbandry due to the proactive ZNFU facilitation team had contributed to the Lima farmers producing a better crop, adding that the country had enough maize stock.
He said the area under maize cultivation by large scale farmers was estimated at 9,179.50 hectares or 66,576.25 tonnes.
In terms of soya production, Mr Zimba said the union had estimated a bumper harvest of about 210,388 tonnes from a total area planted of over 160,000 hectares.
It is estimated that large scale producers would contribute about 77 per cent of the total production.
Mr Zimba said soya beans production was well positioned to continue expanding because of the local needs for livestock feed formulation and edible oil processing industries and the increasing demand for it in the export market.
According ton the 2013 Agriculture Production Survey, groundnuts was estimated at 153, 600 tonnes, mixed beans at 55, 549 tonnes, sunflower at 38,244 tonnes, sorghum at 14, 763 tonnes and millet production was projected at 24 412 tonnes.
“As a union we would like to see more and more farmers venture into growing of these other crops for diversification,” he said.
The 2013 agricultural production survey data were collected from a sample of 4,000 households and was in line with the statistical principles, making the outcome of the survey a true representative of the total production.