Petauke district commissioner Elijah Mwale says the poor crop
quality in the district is a clear projection of looming hunger in this coming harvesting
The district commissioner cited a number of challenges which have
contributed to the poor crop standard in all the six chiefdoms of
Speaking to ZANIS , Mr.Mwale pointed out that
the rainfall pattern was also not conducive in the first quarter of
this year hence causing the crop development to be poor in several
Mr.Mwale said the bad crop standard can be attributed to late
distribution of farming inputs in the 2012-2013 farming season.
He also pointed out that low cotton prices in the 2013 marketing
season was a major factor to the current scenario since people could
find means of scouting for the farming inputs when the cotton price is
The district commissioner however called on farmers in the district
to embrace crop diversification if they are to realise enough money from
their hard work.
Mr.Mwale cited cassava planting, large scale sweet potatoes and ground nuts
production as some of the crops which can be grown by Petauke residents.
He was quick to mention that dependence on relief food should be a
thing of the past as it is meant for the marginalised groups and not the able bodied.
Illegal charcoal trade rife in Petauke
Petauke, March 11, 2013, ZANIS….Petauke district acting forest officer
Charles Muchosa has bemoaned the excessive illegal charcoal production
and trading which has rocked the district in the recent past.
Mr Muchosa attributed the excessive illegal charcoal production to a
hunger situation being experienced in the district as residents opted
to sell all their maize produce.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS at his office today, Mr Muchosa
appealed to people in the area to assist the department in
spearheading the tree planting exercise unlike indulging in unlicensed
Mr Muchosa pointed out that his office will not relent in its efforts
to combat the trend.
He said some people were being apprehended and have had their charcoal
and transport confiscated.
He advised the villagers to instead legalize their business by collecting licenses from the forestry
Mr.Muchosa further warned that those who prefer dubious
trade will face the wrath of the law.