Maize output dips by 18.9% in Malawi due to drought, cyclones

According to the agriculture ministry, a combination of circumstances including drought, tropical storms, and a lack of subsidised fertilizer caused Malawi’s maize output to fall by 18.9% in the farming year 2021/22.

According to the third wave of the 2021/22 Agricultural Production Estimate Survey, production decreased to 3.7 million metric tonnes from 4.6 million metric tonnes in the farming season of 2020/21.

According to Gracian Lungu, a spokesman for the ministry, “most districts, notably in Southern Malawi had late commencement of rainfall resulting in protracted dry spells.” He added that farmers who planted maize saw their crop destroyed by cyclones Ana and Gombe.

Although he pointed out that the production of several food crops, like groundnuts, sesame, and soy beans, improved over the season, he said there was fear that the scarcity of the main grain could undermine the country’s overall food security.

Consumer advocacy groups have protested the recent steep increases in maize and other basic commodity prices.

In contrast to Malawi’s national requirement of 3.1 million tons, the output of maize still indicates a surplus of 0.6 million metric tonnes.

The National Statistical Office reported in June that the country’s year-over-year inflation increased to 19.1 percent in May from 15.7 percent in April.

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