Blantyre: Blantyre Agricultural Development Division (BLADD) says early crop planting rains which have soaked all areas in the division have led to an impressive germination percentage.
BLADD Planning Officer responsible for Agriculture Production Estimates, Patrick Alufandika made the disclosure on Wednesday in an interview with Malawi News Agency, saying nearly every part of the division has received adequate planting rains for maize and other crops.
Recently, we explored a number of areas including Mbombwe and PIM in Chiradzulu; Kameza-Lunzu areas and part of Neno District where most smallholder farmers were either planting or weeding their staple food crop.
In view of the development, all subsistence and commercial farmers are being urged to fully utilize the current down pour which is ideal to curb the ongoing effects of climate change, said Alufandika.
Alufandika also disclosed that although some smallholder farmers were advised not to plant during the sudden flashes earlier in October, this time around, it’s a blessing in disguise in Machinjiri (Blantyre) and Muloza (Mulanje) where the farmers are now busy with first and second weeding activities with healthier and green plants.
He, therefore, appealed to farmers not to be complacent or feel relaxed as this could be the only reliable rain-fed crop husbandry opportunity.
Alufandika, however, lashed at some farmers who, until now, have not yet started planting such staple and cash crops within the division as they hope to have other ‘special’ rains for the aforementioned cultural practices.
On his part, the division’s Crops Management Officer, Victor Makwinja said farmers in all the seven districts within the division, thus Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Thyolo, Neno, Mwanza and Phalombe were busy planting various crops including maize which has since registered an impressive germination rate.
However, Makwinja could not immediately mention the actual germination rate in each of the areas they have recently visited. He has since asked for some time, saying such details should be available in a month’s time.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA