DC urges Chienge farmers to plant crops early

Rural farming

CHIENGE district commissioner Joseph Chisakula has urged farmers in the district to start planting their crops early to avoid low yields in case rains stop early.
Mr Chisakula said the poor rainfall in the 2014/15 farming season was an eye-opener for farmers in the district, which has had favourable rains in the past.
In an interview in Mansa, Mr Chisakula said some farmers who did not plant early had experienced poor yields because the rains went very early, leaving crops withering in the fields.
“The [dryspell] in 2014/15 farming season did not spare us in Chienge. In the past years, we had (never) experienced drought.
“Now that we have learned a lesson, I wish to urge all farmers in the district to start practising early planting, to avoid a similar eventuality,” he said.
Mr Chisakula further said farmers should not concentrate on cultivating maize and rice but also grow traditional crops such as cassava, sorghum and millet because they are drought-resistant.
He said traditional crops are ideal because they do not require chemical fertiliser.
Mr Chisakula observed that most farmers in the district had shifted to maize because it gives them good business.
“Our farmers make money when they sell their maize to the Food Reserve Agency, but they should also grow cassava, sorghum, millet, sweet potatoes, pumpkins for their household consumption and food security,” Mr Chisakula said.

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