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Photo credit: Bennie Khanyizira

The Ministry of Agriculture is this week finalising the first round of national crop estimates for the current agricultural production season.

The meetings which began on Tuesday this week are expected to conclude this Thursday.

The Ministry of Agriculture said it conducts annual agricultural production surveys that seek to assess the country’s production to inform the planning and agricultural policy direction of the nation. The ministry further said estimates not only look at crops but also cover other agricultural commodities such as livestock and fisheries.

Martin Kausi, the Deputy Director of Crop Production in the Ministry of Agriculture,  said the ministry will provide insights on how crops have been affected by El Niño once the meetings are concluded.

“At the moment we have not consolidated the figures yet,” said Kausi. “Garden measurement was done in November [last year] and yield assessment was carried out last month,” said Kautsi.

The results from the first round do not determine the overall agricultural production but provide projections for the expected production, according to Kausi.

Meanwhile, Horace Phiri, an Agricultural Economist at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), believes that the dry spell will affect the country’s agricultural output.

However, Phiri is hopeful that the magnitude will not be too high because farmers were informed in good time about the adverse weather conditions.

“I believe they were well prepared and took heed of the advice that was given to them,” he said.


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