A crop of maize for a peasant farmer in Chongwe

Mambwe District Agriculture Coordinator (DACO) in Muchinga Province Kennedy Kaputo has urged farmers in the district to practice crop diversification so that they have something to fall back on if the yield fails in one crop category.

In an interview with Zanis, the DACO expressed this concern when he made a comparison between the 2016- 2017 maize and cotton production to the 2017- 2018 production for the whole country.

“The country recorded 3,606,549 metric tonnes of maize production in the 2016 – 2017 farming season as compared to the 2017- 2018 season that has seen a huge reduction of 33.6 percent with the produce standing at 2,394,907 metric tonnes,” Mr. Kaputo disclosed.

Mr Kaputo pointed out that if farmers embrace the culture of growing different types of crops in their farms, they can be able to sustain their lives in an event of a drought.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kaputo expressed relief that the country has only seen a slight reduction of 1.2 percent in cotton production that stands at 88,219 metric tonnes as compared to the previous farming season’s 89,293 metric tonnes.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Is it still a bumper harvest? What is the definition of a bumper harvest? We see this headline every year and I bet even this year, headlines will scream “Bumper harvest”

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  2. “….Meanwhile, Mr. Kaputo expressed relief that the country has only seen a slight reduction of 1.2 percent in cotton production that stands at 88,219 metric tonnes ..”

    The corrupt thieves comprising lungu and his gang see to it that we export this cotton only to import GRZ uniforms made with the same cotton costing 10s Of millions of dollars every year.

    We know the import permits are given to PF financial backers for the importation of GRZ uniforms instead of making them in Zambia.

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  3. The discussion on agriculture diversification will remain a pipedream if farmers can’t find a market for alternative crop or if the prices are poor. GRZ needs to empower farmer groups to start adding value to agriculture produce e.g let the farmer groups mill the maize and sell the mealie meal, extracting oil from sunflower etc.

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    • There is no corruption to be found in empowering farmers like there is in road tenders so you won’t see lungu and his gang of corrupt theives doing much there…….

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  4. Govt should be seen to support crop diversification. All the hype about maize should be extended to other crops as well. Farmers just respond to incentives given to maize farmers.

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  5. This is as a result of poor prices offered to Farmers last year. If the floor price is low again this year then we will see a further reduction leading to zambia being a net importer of maize rather than a net exporter.

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  6. @Razor and @dontcare your are both 100% right!
    Due to the pathetic pricing (K1.2) last year many farmers were discouraged from growing maize, I actually even see that figure of 2.4 million tonnes as being less than what is actually on the ground, these Govt extension officers merely add the total hectares and multiply by an estimated yield. This year the crop is not looking good so realistically I see us at even half of that figure at 1.2 million tonnes. We told the govt to give farmers a better price to encourage production now we will see what happens! But to give farmers anything less than K1.5 per kg this year will be “the straw that broke the camels back!”

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  7. You know. Theres one angle that needs to be considered

    Last year the floor price of maize was set so low that it demoralised farmers to plant maize again. Those that planted were hammered with drought

    What is of interest to me…. lets see how FRA tries their K60 floor price again this year ! With short supply, there will be many millers and grain companies chasing the commodity knowing prices will rise later this year. This will leave FRA sheds empty.

    Then later in the year when prices will soar, FRA will not have the stocks to depress prices.

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  8. Furthermore, the politics of maize is what has created mono-culture. Maize monogamy

    Politics to keep the masses happy with low mealie meal prices. Huge cost to country, generating surpluses that need to be exported at under cost pricing

    The low drop in cotton production is attributed to the fact that hardly anyone does cotton nowadays. Its off a low base so comparison to last year is meaningless.

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