ZAMBIA - Planting of the 2015 cereal crops is expected to commence in October.
Despite earlier concerns of an El Niño-affected 2014/15 rainy season (October-March), which is normally associated with drier-than-normal conditions, the latest forecasts released in August indicate overall favourable precipitation.
Record maize crop harvested in 2014
Maize production in 2014 is estimated at a record 3.35 million tonnes, about 30 per cent higher than last year’s above average output, reflecting both higher yields and a larger planted area.
Good rains and continued input support from the Government’s Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which targeted 900,000 beneficiaries, contributed to the increase.
For other crops, mixed outputs were estimated for sorghum (-23 per cent) and millet (+27 per cent) compared to 2013, while a small increase is estimated for rice.
The winter wheat crop, to be harvested this October, is forecast to decrease sharply to just over 200,000 tonnes, reflecting a decline in plantings.
Overall, cereal production in 2014 is forecast to increase by 25 per cent compared to 2013’s near-average output.
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TheCropSite News Desk