Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Expert predicts poor crop performance in Western Province

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The 2023 crop performance in Western Province is likely to decline by 50 percent given the amount of rain the region has received during this farming season.

Principal Agriculture Officer for Western Province, Rebecca Nalungwe, says a few districts that she visited have shown that there is likelihood of not getting a desirable maize harvest due to flash floods and droughts experienced in the 2022/2023 farming season.

“I have been to five districts so far. As you know Lukulu is highly productive for maize in the province but as things stand, some farmers may not have good harvest due to flash floods and droughts in some districts,” Ms Nalungwe said.

Ms Nalungwe, who is also a crop expert, said there is need for farmers to continue practicing smart agriculture in the wake of calamities such as floods and droughts being experienced in the country.

“Climate change is real and has changed the way agriculture must be done. Farmers must now start practicing smart agriculture,” she said.

She said as a stop-gap measure, the government will deliver inputs early for the next season so that farmers could plant early to avoid loss of crops due to either heavy rains or dry spells.

She has since appealed to stakeholders to continue supplementing government efforts in the provision of sustainable agricultural services across the province.

And Mongu District Agriculture Coordinator, Christabel Kakumbi, said the district is not going to be food secure because of the poor rains in this farming season.

Ms Kakumbi said a number of farmers lost their crops in January due to flash floods, adding that they will need relief food from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit for them to survive.

“Those who planted their crops early survived to a certain extent but with a dry spell in some areas, farmers will need additional food supplement from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit,” she said.

Ms Kakumbi has since assured the farming community that government will deliver inputs early for next year’s farming season so that farmers do not delay planting their crops.

“We have received funds and currently we are doing farmer registration. In the same vein, I wish to state that inputs will be delivered eerily enough for next year’s planting season,” she said.

6 COMMENTS

  1. You don’t need to be an expert to predict that there will be a challenge not just with Western but Southern, Eastern, Lusaka, parts of the Copperbelt, Central and Muchinga provinces with the harvest this year of maize in particular.

  2. Ctn…due to very bad rainfall pattern, we have cut all the trees and now nature is punishing us. You will observe the areas of Zambia which still have trees are not as badly affected.

    • It’s not only the weather. Late and chaotic delivery of inputs have affected all of us. If the government was just careful on how to wean off some farmers on Fisp, we wouldn’t be in this position. Government can stop Fisp if they want but it shouldn’t be too sudden. There should be steps to prepare farmers for any changes. What is the point of giving me in February what I was supposed to get in November? This was a blunder

  3. This one should not be blamed on the weather. It should be blamed on the Agriculture minister …MUTOLO!!!! AND THE PRESIDENT. We had good early rains but no fertiliser! No seeds.

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