7 000 hectares of maize wilts in Balaka

Balaka district chief agriculture, extension and natural resources officer Denis Zingeni has bemoaned the prolonged dry spells the district has experienced.

Farmers insecting the dried maize field. Pic By Mary Makhiringa ( MANA)
One of the fields that suffered the strong heat waves. Pic By Mary Makhiringa (MANA)

Zingeni said during a District Civil Protection Committee meeting  that 7 467 hectares (ha) of maize crop, three ha of cow peas and four ha of groundnuts have been affected.

He said: “This year we started on a good note and the crops were promising although there were some variations in the onset of rains across the district.

“The first rains came on November 10 2020 in Bazale, Mpilisi and Ulongwe extension planning areas. These rains were not sufficient for planting. However, about 2 percent of farmers planted their crops.”

He said this was followed by a dry spell that lasted 16 days which affected the crops.

But Zingeni said in some areas the maize is doing well, especially where rains fell between November 25 2020 and December 5 2020.

He said the dry spells have affected 20 365 farming households in the district.

Balaka District Agriculture Extension Coordinating committee chairperson Edward Mwale said it was sad to experience such bad weather.

He said: “We have moved quickly to help the affected farmers. For example, Churches Action Relief and Development is distributing sweet potato vines to 700 farmers in Utale.

“Again, National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi is distributing goats to 75 farmers in the affected areas.”

The dry spells have affected Bazale, Mpilisi, Phalula, Rivirivi, Ulongwe and Utale areas in the district.

Balaka is one of the country’s districts which experiences dry spells almost every year.

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Shelix
Shelix
4 months ago

maize not the right crop for Balaka; the vines that are being distributed now are the ones that should have been planted at the start of the,season. We are not saying people from Balaka should not enjoy their favorite nsima. One can have nsima all year round without necessarily having to grow maize. Grow sweet potatoes, cassava and sell them, use the cash to buy maize. Let’s not “force” Balaka to be a maize production area, it won’t just work!

Ndayizivei Chiremba
Ndayizivei Chiremba
4 months ago
Reply to  Shelix

It’s because of climate change. Timalima ndikukolola chimanga chokwanira komanso osathira fertilizer. Zitapezeka njira za irrigation zitha kuthandiza kwambiri.

Louis Yona
Louis Yona
4 months ago

Balaka is one of the districts that experiences dry spells almost every year. It is high time the district considered in investing in serious irrigation farming. The shire river and underground water are the untapped resources that if harnessed nkhani ya njala will be mbiriy ya kale in the district

Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
Kumavalo Nsamaonetsa Nyoni
4 months ago

And Government is announcing a bumper harvest?

Why is it that we always say what we feel people want to hear,and not reality.

There are certain things that politics should not touch.Why encourage people to export food when year in year out we have areas without food?

We also need to stop thinking that if anyone DPP says something it’s bad anyone Tonse says something it’s brilliant.What happened to mind change?

Issues are better topics for discussion than personalities,Malawians spend too much time discussing people,that we have no time to discuss issues.But then we complain there is no development.

Tizgowerengewaka Mughogho
Tizgowerengewaka Mughogho
4 months ago

How many hectares were planted in total the whole Malawi?
What is the percentage of the affected hectares?
Before you start any comments answer the above questions.
It’s not about politics, it’s about statistics.

BornForTheSmoke
BornForTheSmoke
4 months ago

It never ceases to amaze me how commenters on Nyasa will quickly turn ANY story into something about politics or tribes.

just
just
4 months ago

Please do not allow those maize exports until the situation is assessed because certain areas are still receiving lots of rainfall that might damage the crop

KWANTERE
KWANTERE
4 months ago

This is too bad. Much as madela ena chimanga chakula bwino, madela monga Balaka ndi Nsanje Mvula yavuta kwambiri. Boma lisanayambe zogulitsa chimanga,liyambe kaye laonetsetsa kuti madela amanewa ndi ena,chimanga mma admarc ndichokwana komanso kwaovutika awagawirako

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