Residents of Matungu District expect a low Maize harvest
Written by Joseph Manyasa 2012-07-05 11:47:00 Read 394 Times
As the rain season is being experienced in several parts of the land, farmers in Matungu District are expected to harvest only 126,000 bags of maize against a projected consumption of about 224,241 bags this year.
The District Crops Officer Mr. Francis Were during an interview today Thursday in his office said with the shortfall the district will be forced to import maize from other districts as the population of the district grows day in day out.
He added that the district is likely to face a food deficit because of over dependence on sugarcane production at the expense of maize and other food crops of which its pay is not good compared to other crops.
He mentioned ignorance on usage of fertilizer and other farm inputs as a major challenge as quite a number of farmers in the region are not ready to use modern farming methods which results to this shortfall.
Last year, the district had a target of 62,200 bags of maize due to lack of inadequate farm inputs but managed to produce 86,000 bags of which Mr. Were said was very low as opposed to consumption rate.
The officer said only 30 per cent of arable land in the district is under food crops production as compared to 70 per cent under cane production.
He advised local farmers to dedicate at least 50 per cent of arable land for food production to close the deficit gap. He further urged them to adopt modern farming techniques to diversify their production.