The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said it will conduct an assessment of the dry spells that have hit Makanjira in Mangochi District to determine humanitarian support needed.
The minister responsible Joseph Mwanamvekha said this on Thursday when he inspected fields in Mpilipili Extension Planning Area (EPA) which have been heavily hit by the dry spells.
His visit followed a report by the district agricultural development office (Dado) that crops in the EPA have wilted beyond survival.
“From the look of things, it is impossible to give the farmers seeds for replanting and it is unfortunate that there are no irrigation schemes around,” he said.
Mangochi district commissioner Reverend Moses Chimphepo said as a council, they would be mobilising support for the affected households.
Traditional Authority Makanjira and Mangochi North legislator Benedict Chambo hailed the minister for the visit and appealed for immediate support to the affected households.
According to Dado’s report, dry spells have affected 4 774 hectares of maize belonging to 9 150 farming households.
As of Monday last week, Mpilipili EPA had received 138.3 millimetres (mm) of rains in 10 rainy days compared to 431mm in 26 rainy days last year. n