The first round of 2015/16 Agriculture Production Estimates Survey has projected the national maize production at 2,719,425 metric tons, 2.0 percent lower than the 2014/15 final round estimate of 2,776,277 metric tons.
In a statement, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development said although the estimates may not conclusively inform the ultimate agricultural production, it provides early warning signals on national food security so that policy makers in the public, private and non state sectors can make informed decisions regarding impending food situation.
“The first round is conducted from September of the preceding year to January of the current year. Results from the first round estimates are based on farmers’ intentions on crops to be grown and related hectarage.
“The results may not conclusively inform the ultimate agricultural production as farmers’ intentions can change in the course of implementing respective farm activities; weather conditions and related parameters may also change in the course of the agricultural season,” reads the statement.
The statement however indicates that tobacco production will increase to 211,083,000Kgs from 192,967,541Kgs in the 2014/15 agricultural season.
“Cotton production on the other hand is expected to decline significantly by 43.2 percent, Rice production is projected to slightly increase by 1.4 percent, groundnuts, beans and pigeon peas production is expected to decrease by 4.5, 5.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively. Production of soya beans is on the other hand projected to go up by 6.1 percent,” said the statement.
In terms of livestock, the statement said the population of cattle has increased from 1,398,376, to 1,440,706 representing 3.1 percent increase as compared to the final round for the 2014/15 agricultural season while national fish production has increased from 120,894 metric tons to 149,299 metric tons representing 23.5 percent increase.
The Ministry said the second round activities for the survey are currently underway throughout the country and according to the calendar of the survey, results for the second round will be released end-March 2016.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development annually conducts Agricultural Production Estimates Survey. The objective of the survey is to assess the country’s agricultural production to inform planning and policy direction for the nation. The survey includes all agricultural commodities, thus, crops, livestock and fisheries. The survey is conducted in three rounds every year.
The second round is conducted from February to March and focuses on verification and adjustment of area measurements for crops grown by the sampled agricultural households, while the third and final round is undertaken during the harvesting period from April to May, involving the weighing of the harvest to obtain actual yield for crops indicating the national food basket and determines the food deficit or surplus.