Govt Hopeful of Bumper Harvest

The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha says the country should expect bumper yield in 2018-2019 growing season due to adequate rainfall.

Mwanamvekha said despite experiencing usual challenges of floods in some parts of the country, prospects are quite encouraging that farmers will realize more harvest.

The Minister made the observation on Monday during crop inspection in Balaka with an aim of appreciating modern technologies embraced by farmers in districts of Balaka and Machinga which among others was highly affected by dry spell and breakout of Fall Army Worm in the previous growing season.

“As it stands now in the country, especially with the fact that we are receiving more rains as compared to the previous growing season, as government, we expect more yield.

“Government has released 138,000 metric tons of Maize to support families that have been affected by hunger and the President has already directed that the number of beneficiaries should be increased mostly in Mangochi, Balaka and Machinga,” said Mwanamvekha.

He further asked youth in the country to utilize programs developed by government which include community colleges in order to be self-reliant.

“It is our wish as government to see many youth getting employment. That is why we encourage the youth to enroll into various courses in community colleges so that they should be able to employ themselves as well as create jobs for others,” he said.

Agriculture Extension Methodology Officer (AEMO) for Balaka, Alfred Tsitsi has described the crop inspection as fruitful, saying it gives a platform of promoting modern technologies.

“The promising maize fields are evidence that agriculture technologies that we are promoting are working and are beneficial to the farmers,” he said.

Tsitsi added that his office is using various approaches in order to persuade farmers who are unwilling to adopt modern agriculture technologies like fodder preservation and conservation agriculture.