Farmers in Moyo chiefdom of Pemba district found knitting the 50 Kilogrammes bags of maize for sell at one of the Food Reserve Agency depots in the area.
The 2015/16 agriculture season is delayed in most high producing regions and that acute food insecurity outcomes are expected across the country, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has warned.

In its latest report, FEWSNET also noted that the cost of food and other basic items is higher than normal in rural and urban areas due to the depreciation of the Kwacha.

It says acute food insecurity in southern and western provinces will remain through March and that retail prices for maize and Mealie meal remain above 2014 prices and the five-year average.

‘Maize prices are expected to be high until the next harvest in 2016. The combination of higher than normal input prices and a slow start to the first half of the rainy season is likely to result in later and possibly reduced planting,’ it read.

It added that the prevailing El Niño conditions for the second half of the season is expected to result in a fall in seasonal production below recent five-year average levels.

In its projected outlook through March 2016, FEWSNET says acute food insecurity outcomes are expected to continue for most parts of the country.

‘The combination of high agricultural input prices, and expected poor rainfall due to El Niño conditions will make it increasingly difficult for both urban and rural poorer households to adequately manage to meet their basic food needs. Green food availability is expected to be reduced which could prolong the lean period.’

‘It is becoming increasingly difficult for households to afford food and basic items because prices continue to rise due to the depreciation of the local currency. Also of concern is the increased number of job losses in the mining towns of the Copperbelt Province,’ it read.

It stated that as the international price of copper falls, mines are beginning to cut back production.
FEWSNET observes that Maize and meal retail prices remain higher than normal, and this is eroding consumer purchasing power.

‘The season is slow to start in most high producing such as Eastern, Central, and Southern Provinces and some low producing areas like Lusaka, Western, North Eastern Provinces with many areas experiencing a 10-30 day delayed onset of rains. Similar to most recent seasons, this rainy season is starting from the west and moving east,’ it read.

‘Planting rains have been received in parts of, North Western, Luapula, western parts of Northern, and parts of Copperbelt Provinces. In areas where the rains have not yet started, farmers are continuing land preparation activities.’

It added that since the price of fertilizer has doubled, there is concern about whether or not most small sale farmers will be able to afford to make this purchase this season.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. How can it not fail fall when there is only one ministry of works and supply ticking in the whole country while others are dormant. Zambia is a failed state under PF.

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  2. Theoretical investigations and assumptions from the desktop! No practical collection of data. Southern province have so far had appreciable rainfall pattern beginning late November!

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  3. Kabu. Just chill in Canada.

    Im in Southern Province and I can tell you the situation is the worst I have ever seen. Don’t underestimate this drought.

    People in Namwala are trucking in dry bales all the way from Lusaka. Many are desperate to sell of their livestock but Zambeef is not buying, citing low meat sales this festive season especially in CB.

    Give a call to any of your friends in Lusaka and ask them if they can see any puddles anywhere

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  4. @ LIMPO do u understand the meaning of FAILED STATE or ur just writing for the sake of commenting???? pls dont show Us yo ignorance here understamnd some of these terms before u can use them thats y we have dictionaries???? we all have seen the rainfall pattern and it is not pleasing at all… in this regard loadshedding is expetecd even more next yr…so u beta save some maize just as govt has done by baning maize exports…. @LIMPO pls dnt u ever misuse terms like that again

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    • @makasa

      I personally heard the Minister of Agriculture say the PF Government WILL NOT ban exports of maize.

      Go figure!

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    • @ makasa

      As much as interpretation of “FAILED STATE” has tens of different interpretations, can you please enlighten us on yours interpretation?

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  5. Let GOVT start state farms in Northern,CB and luapula where it’s ruining otherwise we can’t wait for the worst scenario.It’s high time govt started irrigation to mitigate this problem.The only solution is to have state farms for maize in all provinces before it’s not too late.

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    • @ Moscow (op)
      You are right, “…it’s RUINING otherwise we can’t wait for the worst scenario…”!!!
      Well, only few months left to stop RUINING what is left.

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  6. Too late bo Lubinda has imported all the excess stock…time to diversify the diet and stop dependence on maize!!

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  7. …is there anything good we can expect anytime soon in Zambia..??…is God, in a way, trying to punish us for the undesirable choices we recently made as a people…??…If the govt is not yelling, boasting about the ‘score’ they have achieved in infrastructure development especially the roads….what else is there to talk about….??

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  8. Comment:or better stil diversify into farming of drought resistant crops…i thnk we can do away wit our traditional crops for the moment coz it wont help us at all

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