Kabompo, Manyinga districts experiences low maize harvest

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Kabompo, Manyinga districts experiences low maize harvest

Kabompo, June 24, ZANIS —-Maize yields in Kabompo and Manyinga districts are expected to drop by 15 percent this farming season.

Kabompo District Commissioner, Dennis Kanyakula attributed the drop to late onset of rain and its short spell which adversely affected crop growth resulting in reduced yields in the two districts.

Mr Kanyakula said this when he officiated at this year’s district agriculture and commercial show on Friday.

He said according to a combined crop forecast for Kabompo and Manyinga only 259,004 by 50 kilogramme bags of maize are expected for the 2012/2013 agricultural season as compared to 307,299 by 50 kilogramme bags for the 2011/2012 season.

Meanwhile, Mr Kanyakula said the Patriotic Front government has developed specific agricultural policies designed to respond to the needs of vulnerable but viable small scale framers in the country.

He said farmers will receive free seeds for all the crops they intend to grow and those who may not afford fertilizer in cash will be allowed to pay for it through exchange with maize.

Mr Kanyakula added that late delivery of farm inputs to farmers will now be a thing of the past because the government has empowered the Nitrogen Chemical of Zambia to produce fertilizer for the country.

He strongly appealed to farmers not to rely on maize alone but diversify to drought resistant crops such as cassava, bulrush millet and sorghum because government will provide adequate market for the crops.

He further advised farmers to start practicing conservation farming methods to reduce dependence on fertilizer.

Mr Kanyakula has also encouraged farmers to increase small livestock production for income generation to reduce poverty.

He said government has constructed three livestock centres in Kabompo and two in Manyinga districts in order to continue fighting animal diseases through the provision of quality veterinary services close to the farmers and enhance production.