The maize harvest in Malawi during the 2018-2019 growing year will increase by 25 percent compared to 2017-2018 according to the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamyeka who made the announcement while briefing journalists on the findings of the first round of crop estimates for the year.
Mwanamyeka says the country will produce 3.4 million metric tons of maize in the 2018-2019 growing year, an increase from 2.7 million tons which was last year’s first crop estimate.
The country also expects to produce over 134,000 metric tons of rice and over 32,000 metric tons of cotton.
This will be possible due to three factors, namely favourable rains, the government’s farm input subsidy programme for poor farmers and the government’s efforts to contain fall armyworms across the country.
“The government has built warehouses across the country, I know there are not enough but we have started and will continue to do so as one of the controls of post-harvest losses,” says Mwanamyeka.
The announcement was a cause for optimism among locals as Malawi has experienced food shortages due to unfavourable weather conditions and fall armyworms in the past two seasons.
Malawi is said to have lost close to 40 percent of its crop harvests due to poor storage after harvesting.