The crop forecasting survey results for the 2021/2022 agricultural season and the food security status for the 2022/2023 marketing season show that the production of maize is expected to decrease by 25.24 per cent from 3,620,244 metric tons to 2,706,243 metric tons recorded in the 2020/2021 season.
And the production of cassava, millet, sorghum and rice, and Irish potatoes, is also expected to decline.
Agriculture Minister Rueben Phiri says the decrease in maize production is a result of a reduction in the area planted from 1,687,929 hectares last season to 1,507,441 hectares this season coupled with a reduction in the yields from 2.14 metric tons per hectare last season to 1.80 metric tons per hectare this season.
Mr Phiri says of the total estimated production of 2,706,243 metric tons of maize, the small and medium scale farming households are expected to contribute 96 per cent while the large-scale farmers are projected to contribute 4 per cent.
And Mr Phiri says as of 1st May 2022, the total carryover stocks held by farmers, millers, grain traders and the food reserve agency was 1,503,432 metric tons.
Speaking when he announced the crop forecasting survey results for the 2021/2022 agricultural season, Mr. Phiri says given the estimated production of 2,706,243 metric tons of maize and the carryover stocks, the total available maize supply in the 2022/2023 agricultural marketing season is 4,209,675 metric tons against the country’s population which is estimated at 19.2 million.
He says the estimated national requirement for maize to meet consumption demand is estimated at 3,004,763metric tons.
Mr. Phiri says the country is expected to have a surplus of 1,204,912 metric tons of maize.
The Minister has since reiterated that government will maintain its open border policy for exports in line with regional and international trade protocols.