Features

How to get high crop yields

A FAMILY in Lunga which was forced to prematurely harvest and preserve cassava tubers after heavy floods submerged their crop fields. PICTURE: ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS

FRANCIS LUNGU, Lusaka
ALTHOUGH the agriculture sector is normally volatile, the reassuring aspect is that despite the estimated deficit of about 390,000 metric tonnes of maize from this year’s harvest, the production is above the required annual staple food consumption and industrial use which stands at 1.96 million metric tonnes.
This year’s projected maize harvest of 2,004,389 metric tonnes represents a 16 percent reduction compared to the 2,394,907 metric tonnes harvested in the 2017/2018 agricultural season.
The total maize requirements are broken down as 1,558,339 metric tonnes for human consumption and 409,018 metric tonnes for industrial requirements.
This drop in the crop harvest is attributed to prolonged dry spells. Call it climate change. The dry spells affected the Southern, Western and parts of Lusaka and Central provinces. There were even cases of flooding in some parts, especially between January and March this year.
Minister of Agriculture Michael Katambo last week announced the crop forecasting survey for the 2018/2019 agricultural season and the food security status for both this and the next marketing season covering May 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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