By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE country is expected to record a bumper harvest despite the floods that have affected some areas, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) has said.
And IAPRI said commercial marketed maize had reduced by about 40 percent between January and March this year.
IAPRI Outreach Director, Ballard Zulu, said yesterday said that the country would have enough food compared to previous two harvest seasons.
Good prospects of 2019/2020 harvest are relatively high, he said, compared to last two agricultural seasons.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the food security update.
“During main coming harvest period in June this year, we expect to have enough food security especially in terms of maize,” he said. Mr Zulu observed that some large scale farmers who participated in early planting this year would contribute 40, 000 tonnes this month and additional 100, 000 tonnes in May this year to food security in the country.
“Some large scale farmers with irrigation equipment who planted early maize are expected to harvest about 40, 000 metric tonnes in April this year. And another 100,000 metric tonnes of early maize will be harvested in May this year.
“This means that when we have the main harvest coming in June 2020 we expect to have enough food security. The prospects of 2019/2020 harvest are relatively high compared to last two harvests,” Mr Zulu said.
He however said about 15.3 percent of estimated total area planted in the country was affected by the outbreak of fall army and African worms during the 2019/2020 farming season.
Meanwhile, Mr Zulu said the availability of commercially marketed maize had reduced by 40 percent, from 519, 812 tonnes in January to 281, 869 tonnes in mid-March 2020.
He said as at March 17, this year, Food Reserve Agency had 43 percent of maize, which stood at 281, 868 tonnes.
By SILUMESI MALUMO