Shang’ombo district in Western province will have a 75 per cent reduction in this year’s crop because of a prolonged dry spell which the area experienced.
This is according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives crop assessment that was conducted in Siwelewele Camp. The assessment shows that most crops are dying.
Siwelewele Camp Agriculture Assistant Officer Maybin Malama said the poor rainfall pattern experienced this season has negatively impacted the crop performance in the district.
Mr. Malama said a reduction in crop yield especially in maize is ranging between 15 to 20 per cent.
He said the camp has between 450 and 500 households and about 700 farmers that will be affected by the food shortage.
The agriculture officer said the crop assessment report reveals estimated crop yield of 400 to 500 kg of maize per hectare with rice estimated at 150 to 250 kg and cow peas at 100 to 250 kg per hectare among other crops
And newly appointed Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Poniso Njeulu, who is also Sinjembela Member of Parliament, declared the hunger situation as a disaster.
Mr. Njeulu assured the people in the area and the entire Shang’ombo district that he would tell relevant authorities about the situation.
He said government, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), will ensure that the food shortage was averted through a provision of relief food to the district.
Mr. Njeulu is in the area to identify possible development projects which can be established in order to address critical challenges facing the district.