Petauke records low maize yields


—–The maize yield in Petauke district of the Eastern province is expected to reduce by 30 percent during the 2012/13 farming season due to poor rains..

District Agriculture Coordinator, Friday Sikombe has attributed the reduction in yields to a number of factors such as delay in rainfall which resulted into late planting of the crop and uneven distribution of the rainfall.

Mr Sikombe advised farmers whose yields would not help them make it to the next harvest season to sale some of their livestock to purchase enough maize for their household consumption.

Mr Sikombe however, warned against indiscriminate sale of maize among farmers that would result into hunger in the households.

Mr Sikombe observed that due to climate change which had negatively impacted on the maize production this season, it was important that farmers go into the production of draught tolerant crops such as cassava, millet and sorghum.

He noted that in the provinces where farmers grow those crops, the impact would not be as high as where such crops were not grown.

He also said farmers should take this intervention seriously to avoid future effects on the household food security.

The DACO noted that those farmers with wetland dambos should also go into off season irrigated maize, commonly known as winter maize in order to bridge the gap in terms of hunger situations.

Mr Sikombe also appealed to all traditional leaders in the area to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture in disseminating the information to their subjects so that the hunger situation could be alleviated.