Mchinji has projected a 10 percent maize yield loss in the 2017/18 farming season due to dry spells and fall armyworm attack.
The district experienced a dry spell from 26 December, 2017 to 12 January, 2018 coupled with fall armyworms which have affected maize and beans production.
A report from the Service Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources presented to the Mchinji District Full Council Meeting states that the dry spell affected 2 595 hectares of maize, hence, affecting 9 671 farming households.
The committee’s chairperson, councillor Dennis Lazaro on Monday said 412 hectares of beans had also been hit by the dry spell, thus affecting 673 farming households.
“The district planted 95 156 hectares of maize of which 1 150 hectares had been infested by fall armyworms while 5 518 hectares have been controlled, hence 12 217 farmers have been affected,” he said.
Lazaro said the resumption of normal rains on 13 January has improved the crop situation.
However, some losses are expected in maize and beans, according to Mchinji District Agriculture Office.
Mchinji district agriculture development officer, Precious Chautsi said his office managed to control 113 hectares of crops using pesticides received from Kasungu ADD and from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). n