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Crop and Livestock Assessment Report
28 April 2009
Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development


Executive Summary

Crops
  • The combined maize, sorghum and millets production for 2008/09 is estimated at 1 510 000 MT, against a national cereal requirement of 2 200 000 MT, which gives a cereal deficit of about 690 000 MT.
  • The 2008/09 maize production is estimated at 1 240 000 MT from a planted area of 1 500 000 ha with an average yield of 0.8 t/ha. The production estimate is about 160 percent more than last year’s production estimate of about 470 000 MT.
  • Total small grains production is estimated at about 270 000 MT tonnes broken down as follows:
    • Sorghum 181 448 MT from a planted area 389 333 ha with average yield of 0.47 t/ha
    • Finger millet 37 162 MT from a planted are 101 189 ha with average yield of 0.37 t/ha
    • Pearl Millet 50 938 MT from a planted area 153 545 ha with an average yield 0.33 t/ha
    • The combined small grains production estimate is about 190% and 110% more than last year’s harvest and the recent five year national production average respectively.
  • The area planted to other major crops and production figures are summarized in the table below:

    Table 1: Other major crops 2008/2009 and 2007/2008 comparison
    Crop Area (ha) Production (MT)
    2007/2008 2008/2009 %change 2007/2008 2008/2009 %change
    Soya bean 72 311 85 227 18 48 320 115 817 140
    Tobacco 61 622 47 691 -23 69 790 63 600 -9
    Cotton 431 131 337 671 -22 226 435 246 757 9
    Groundnuts 299 252 354 636 19 131 536 216 619 65
    Sugar beans 39 875 52 265 31 3 803 37 329 881
    Sunflower 41 445 79 212 91 5 461 39 018 614

    • There was an increase in production of the major crops (Table 1) except for tobacco.
    • The decrease in tobacco production was mainly due to many contractors scaling down on input support programmes, non-payment of the promised foreign currency component, poor exchange rate and the cash withdrawal limits.
  • There was an increase in the area planted to minor crops in 2008/09 as compared to 2007/08.
    • Area under sweet potatoes increased by 11% from 61 311 ha to 69 344 ha giving a total production of 298 947 MT.
    • The area under rice increased by 30% from 3 891 ha to 5 077 ha. The expected production for this year is 3 046 MT.
  • The assessment showed that early planting of crops gives better yields per unit area. In order to achieve these high yields, there is need for delivery of inputs to farmers on time.
  • The summer crop harvest was reduced by a prolonged dry spell of up to twenty days experienced at the end of January, mainly in the eastern half of the country.
Livestock
  • Generally the condition of all classes of livestock was fair to good across the whole country.
  • Grazing condition was good and adequate across most farming sectors except in some communal areas where the perennial problem is that of overstocking.
  • Water for livestock was generally adequate in most areas.
  • Dipping was still erratic in most districts resulting in high incidences of tick borne diseases and other problems

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