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Drought hits over 200,000 farmers in Blantyre ADD

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Blantyre Agriculture Development Division (ADD) says about 206,000 of its farmers have been affected by drought posing the threat of food insecurity.

Assistant Programs Manager for the ADD Annley Msukwa confirmed the development on Friday, saying about 56,000 hectors of farmland has been affected.

Msukwa said the farmers are in need of over 282 metric tons of maize seed in order for them to replant and embark on irrigation to make up for the loss.

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Msukwa was speaking in Phalombe on Friday when Peacock Seed Company Limited donated 13 metric tons of maize to the ADD to aid some of the affected farmers in the district and in Nsanje and Chikwawa.

“It has been tough for over 200,000 of our farmers; it is hard for them to neither make any gains nor yield any food and there is need for urgent help before the moisture escapes from the ground. Need I say that we are hoping for irrigation, so what is needed is seed,” she said.

Msukwa then hailed Peacock Seed for coming to the rescue of the farmers.

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Sharing her plight one of the farmers Gertrude Salima from Phalombe lamented that the sudden stoppage of rains and the fall armyworms have cost her and fellow farmers.

She disclosed that most of the seeds that they planted were not resistant to prolonged drought and the farmers were not conversant with how to deal with the fall armyworms.

Speaking during the event Finance and Administration Manager for the company Charles Kaunda said the gesture is a result of the cordial relationship with the farmers across the country and the affected districts in particular.

“As a company, we wanted to contribute to government efforts by helping farmers who have been affected by drought. We have donated Peacock MH30 maize variety which is drought tolerant and disease resistant and we are optimistic that farmers will also like its performance,” he said.

The seed that cost K20 million will cater for about 650 hectors of farm land.

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