Kabompo District Senior Agriculture Officer, Solani Mweemba says the district preliminary crop forecast figures for the 2018/2019 farming season shows a 19 percent decrease of maize production compared to the 2017/2018 season.
Mr. Solani said that the decrease in maize in the final crop forecast is attributed to the prolonged dry spell experienced in the month of March, this year.
He told ZANIS in an interview last week that the final crop forecast which covered all 21 camps of the district revealed that sweet potatoes and beans crops were the worst hit by the dry spell resulting into a 40 percent yield reduction for sweet potatoes and 100 percent in beans.
Mr Mweemba added that rainfall started a bit late by mid November 2018 and as at 28 February 2019 the district had recorded some prolonged dry spells in the month of March 2019 with only 59 mm of rainfall recorded compared to 244 mm recorded during the same month the previous season.
He further said some disturbing rainfall of 127.7 mm was recorded in April 2019 which caused rotting of maize cobs especially the early planted crops.
Mr Mweemba stated that the total rainfall recorded from October 2018 to April 2019 was 915.6 mm as compared to 1126.3 mm during the preceding farming season.
He said a total number of 254,126 by 50 kilogram bags of white maize production are expected as compared to 344,715 by 50 kilogram bags of produced in the 2017/2018 season.