Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Ulemu Chilapondwa has advised farmers living close to water sources to embark on winter cropping because research has shown that farmers selling fresh maize are making more money than those selling dry grain.
Chilapondwa said this during a field day organised by Monsanto Malawi in Lilongwe last week.
“Companies such as Monsanto are producing maize varieties that do well even during winter and if one plants maize twice or thrice a year then he will be generating more money than those depending on rain-fed agriculture because they only grow maize once a year,” he said.
Chilapondwa said government is encouraging farmers to grow crops twice or three times a year because this is the best solution to solve food insecurity.
He said despite drought and floods in some parts of the country, the country has produced a surplus of the staple grain.
Chilapondwa said, as one way of making sure that the maize is safeguarded, government has banned exports of the grain to check on shortages.
Monsanto Malawi country manager Paul Chimimba said farmers will greatly help the country if they grow crops twice or three times a year.
This year, according to the second round crop estimates, Malawi has produced more than 700 000 metric tonnes surplus against last year’s surplus of 556 552 metric tonnes.