Today I wish to share with you our country’s estimated crop production for the 2013/2014 agricultural season as well as the country’s national food balance for the marketing season covering the period from 1st May 2014 to 30th April 2015.
I am happy to inform you Dear friends that our country is forecast to produce the highest quantity of maize ever recorded in the country’s history.
According to this year’s forecast, maize production is expected to exceed last year’s production by 32.29%, to reach a record high of 3,350,671 metric tonnes. In addition, the country has maize carry over stock amounting to 597, 192 metric tonnes bringing the estimate for total available maize for the 2014/2015 marketing season to 3,947,863 metric tonnes.
I am also happy to report that the production of rice, millet, groundnuts and tobacco has increased compared to last season. This year’s good maize harvest provides the country with a good opportunity to adequately feed the nation and the potential to export the surplus crop as well as promote value addition of maize and other crops. You will be happy to note that of the estimated maize 2013/2014 production, 93% is attributed to small and medium scale farmers whilst the rest is attributed to large scale farmers. I want to commend our farmers for this tremendous achievement.
Our Government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will continue to play an important role in marketing of maize this season. I also want to encourage the private sector to continue to fully participate in crop marketing both locally and internationally.
Our Government’s focus for 2014 is to continue investing in the crop diversification programme so that we trigger the desired 6% annual growth in the sub-sector inline with the PF Manifesto. MCS – 07/05/2014