Maize harvest drops by 1.1m tonnes
Maize harvest has this year dropped by 1.1 million metric tonnes, signaling the onset of hunger in the country.
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has since cautioned people to exercise prudence in the way they use the little harvest they have.
The ministry has further warned Malawians against selling the maize they may have harvested.
The ministry says should some families have surplus and want to sell, they should do so at the recommended government price of K100 per kilogramme.
Principal Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Erica Maganga disclosed on Thursday that maize production has this year been the worst since the introduction of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in 2004/2005 due to floods and the dry spell that hit the country.
“For example, last year we produced 3.9 million metric tonnes of maize and our consumption in Malawi is three million metric tonnes. This means we had a surplus of 900 000 metric tonnes.
“But this year, the estimates show production is at 2.8 million metric tonnes giving us a shortfall of 1.1 million metric tonnes due to floods and the dry spell we had ,” she said.
She was speaking at Eswazini, Mzimba, where she launched a two-year Farmers Union of Malawi Support for Nutrition Improvement Component Project (Sinic) funded by the World Bank and Canadian Development Agency to the tune of US$ 43 million (K19.307 billion).
FUM Chief Executive Officer Prince Kapondamgaga said Mzimba is one of the 13 districts where the project will run.
He said the total cost of the project is US$ 43 million (K19.307 billion) and Mzimba’s allocation was US$2.4 million (K1.077 billion) which would benefit 64 618 people in four traditional areas of Kampingo Sibande, Chindi, Mzikubola and Khosolo.
“The project will focus on increased production and consumption of highly nutritious crops and livestock, processing of food crops and livestock to provide essential nutrients that enhance reduction of child and maternal malnutrition,” said Kapondamgaga.
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