Maize production in communal areas decreases by 81 per cent

03 Sep 2019 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 03 SEP (NAMPA) – Following the poor rainfall season of 2018/19, maize production in communal areas such as Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West has decreased by 81 per cent of last season’s harvest and currently stands at 80 per cent below the average production.
This is revealed in the latest Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry’s Crops Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report for the period October 2018 to April 2019, issued on Tuesday.
The report indicates that most areas received less than 50 per cent of their normal rainfall, which in most instances was not significant to support agricultural production as well as water supply for domestic and industrial use.
“Consequently, many farmers have noted crop failure with grazing in a very poor to bare condition with livestock deaths on the rise, mainly due to lack of grazing, while all the crop producing areas recorded a very poor and below average crop harvest,” the report reads.
It further outlines that many of the rain-fed crop producing farmers recorded a complete crop failure which not only left them with food insecurity, but also compromised their livelihoods.
Furthermore, pearl millet production shows a significant decline of 89 per cent of last season’s harvest and 84 per cent below the average production.
Sorghum production has also showed a major decrease of 90 per cent below the last season’s production, and at least 95 per cent below the average production.
Meanwhile, maize production in the commercial area revealed a reduction of about 19 per cent compared to last season’s harvest, but is still on the average production level.
“This reduction was caused by drought conditions experienced in the commercial dry-land maize production areas and problems of Fall Armyworms, which affected both green scheme and dry-land commercial producing areas,” the report indicates.