Maize production in communal areas decreases by 81 per cent

Maize production in communal areas namely Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West have decreased by 81 per cent of the last season harvest and 80 per cent below the average production.

This decrease is attributed to the drought conditions experienced during the course of the season, Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, Crops Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report released on Tuesday indicates.

Most areas conceded to less than 50% of their normal rainfall which is in most instances were not significant to support the agricultural production as well as water supply for domestic and industrial uses. Consequently, many farmers have noted crop failure with grazing in a very poor to bare condition with livestock death on the rise mainly due to lack of grazing.

All the crop producing areas recorded a very poor and below average crop harvest, following the drought associated conditions experienced in 2018/2019 rainfall season. Many of the rain-fed crop producing farmers recorded a complete crop failure which did not only leave them food insecure, but also compromised their livelihoods, the report reads.

The revised crop estimates indicated a considerable reduction in harvest which is significantly lower than last season and below the average production. The poor production and below average crop harvest is attributed largely to drought condition which is said to have dominated the season.

Maize production in the commercial area on the other hand showed a significant reduction of about 19% of 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 reads.

Furthermore, pearl millet production shows significant decline of 89% of last season's harvest and 84% below the average production.

Sorghum production has also showed a major decrease of 90% below the last season production, and at least 95% below the average production.

The reduction for both pearl millet and sorghum production is attributed to drought conditions experienced throughout the rainfall season, the report reads.

Source: Namibia Press Agency