The first round of Agriculture Production Estimate Survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, has predicted an increase in maize output from 3, 391, 924 metric tonnes in 2018/2019 growing season to 3,691, 866 in the current season representing 8.8% increase.
According to a survey, which has been confirmed by the ministry’s spokesperson, Priscilla Mateyu, the increase is attributed to favourable conditions and increased uptake of inputs by farmers.
Cotton has also registered a tremendous increase from 25, 331 metric tonnes during the previous season to 52,389 tonnes in the current season representing 106.8%.
On the other hand, rice production has increased by 9.8%, millet by 8.9% and sorghum by 3%, a development which has been attributed to the availability of seeds, increased wetlands and government and other stakeholder programmes.
The survey has also seen an average of 9.15% increase of legumes like groundnuts, soya, pigeon peas and beans.
On root tubers, there is also an increase in production with bananas at 5.9%, potatoes at 19.4%, and cassava at 0.9%.
Livestock production has also registered an increase with cattle at 4%, pigs at 7.7%, sheep at 3.2%, goats at 7.5% and quails at 192.5%.
However fish production has seen a decrease from 202, 092 metric tonnes to 169, 140 representing a 19.1% decrease a development which has been attributed to low catches, migration of fish and severe water stress.
Apart from this survey, the ministry will carry out a second and third round of Agriculture Production Estimate Survey in March and May 2020 and the final estimates will determine actual production and confirm whether Malawi will be food secure at both household and national levels.