The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has projected that the country will this year have a maize surplus of 358,804 metric tonnes.

The ministry’s status report released on Wednesday in Lilongwe during Agriculture Sector Joint Sector Review meeting, states that 2012/13 Second Round National Agricultural Production Estimates, are projecting that the country will register increases in production of most of the crops, including maize.

“Maize production has been projected at 3, 680,263 metric tonnes. This represents an increase of 2 per cent from last season’s final estimate of 3,623,924 metric tonnes.

The maize national requirement for Malawi is 2,826,735 metric tonnes. With the production estimate 3, 680,263 metric tonnes, the surplus is projected to be around 358,804 metric tonnes of maize,” reads the report.

The report states that rice production is estimated at 131,719 metric tonnes from 110,405 tonnes, representing 19 per cent increase over last season’s final estimates.

Groundnuts production is estimated at 401,335 metric tonnes from 368,081 metric tonnes from last year’s final estimates, representing 9 per cent increase.

Pulses production (beans, pigeon peas, field peas, grams, soya beans and chick peas) has been estimated at 665,876 metric tonnes from 581,373 metric tonnes during the final round for last season, representing a 15 per cent increase.

The report has, however, said there will be decrease in production in cotton, potato and wheat.

Cotton production, which last season was at 221, 198 metric tonnes, is this season expected to be at 162,791, representing a decrease by 26 per cent.

“Cotton is expected to register decrease in production because of the late delivery of seeds and pesticides and water logging conditions that most areas experienced,” reads the report.

According to the report, wheat production was last season at 1,901 metric tonnes but this year is expected to be at 1,795 metric tonnes, representing a decrease by 6 per cent, while potato production which last year was at 963,608 metric tonnes will this year be at 955,522 metric tonnes representing a decrease by 1 per cent.

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