Lundazi faces food deficit
Lundazi, May 7, ZANIS ——– Lundazi district in Eastern province is expected to experience reductions in food production in 2013 farming season due to erratic rainfall and late distribution of farming inputs to farmers.
This information came to light in a Crop Forecast Assessment Report by Senior Agricultural Officer Fredrick Mwansa presented during a Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZVAC) assessment meeting held in Lundazi recently.
Mr Mwansa told officials from DMMU and ZVAC under the Office of the Vice President from Lusaka that the Department of Agricultural in the first quarter of this year 2013 conducted crop forecast to generate figures on expected crop yields in order to determine food security status of the district.
He disclosed that Lundazi district only received 546.9 millimeter of rainfall compared to 824.3mm in the same period during 2011/2012 farming season affective planting for 2012/2013 farming season as the rains came late in second week of December 2012, a situation which provided a short planting period for crops such as maize, groundnuts, cotton and soya beans..
The Senior Agriculture Officer said crop forecast for 2012/2013 farming season indicates that Lundazi district is expected to produce 1,786,866 x 50kgs bags of maize, however this is 14 percent reduction as compared to the 2011/2012 maize production.
Mr Mwansa observed that the situation is likely to be worsen as some starving households have already resorted to pre-harvesting and drying their maize to cushion hunger being experienced, a situation he noted might create a maize deficit later in the year.