Most crop-producing areas recorded normal to above normal harvest at the latest, according to the latest Crop Prospect and Food Security report. The report is compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform. This showing is in spite of the delayed onset of the 2020/2021 rainfall season, prolonged dry spells and the African migratory red locust reported in some areas.
The revised aggregate crop estimates indicate that the country has recorded 154 000MT, which is 5% less than last season’s harvest of 162 500MT but 26% above the average annual production of 122 400MT. The report states that maize production in the communal area (Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions) is estimated at 11 500MT, which is about 35% higher than last season’s harvest of 8 500 MT and 77% above the average production of 6 500 MT.
Much of this improvement is from the Zambezi region, which recorded an increase of 123% above the average production and 36% over the last season’s harvest.
In contrast, maize production in the Kavango East and Kavango West region showed a reduction of 30% of last season’s harvest and 88% below the average production. The poor and below-average production according to farmers, is due to excessive rainfall, locust outbreak and mice damages during germinations.
Maize production in the commercial area on the other hand recorded a bumper harvest of 74 700MT, which is 45% higher than last season’s harvest of 51 600MT and 74% above the average production of 38 500MT, the report states.
This is the biggest maize harvest ever recorded in the commercial area and this improvement is attributed to favourable crop growing conditions which have prevailed over the season causing farmers to increase planted areas.
“It is important to note that 54% (38 700MT) of the maize production total (71 400MT) in the commercial area came from irrigation schemes, while 46% (32 600MT) came from the rain-fed production.
“Additionally, Pearl millet production is estimated at 55 200MT, which is about 39% lower than last season’s harvest of
90 800MT, and 3% below the average production of 57 000MT,” the report states, adding that this reduction is largely attributed to poor rainfall performance experienced in the north-central regions.
Furthermore, sorghum is estimated at 8 200MT, reflecting an increase of over 16% of last season’s harvest of 7 100MT and 21% above the average production of 6 800MT. Wheat is a winter crop and production thereof is ongoing.