Why Are Zambian Farmers Not Harvesting All Their Maize?
1. According to nationally representative Crop Forecast Survey data, over the past 10 years farmers have harvested between 55 and 90 percent of the area that they planted to maize. 2. In the 2009/10 and 2010/11 crop years, over 80 percent of the maize area planted by small- and medium-scale farmers was harvested, mainly due to favorable weather. 3. In 2010/11, the ratio of harvested to planted maize area was highest in Luapula, Northern and Eastern (all over 90%), and lowest in Western (56%) and Southern Province (70%). 4. The main reasons provided by Zambian farmers for not harvesting all their area planted to maize are: (i) wilting due to drought (50.6%); (ii) crop failure due to lack of fertilizer (25.6%); and (iii) floods, heavy rains, and water logging (12.2%). 5. More effective extension of moisture conserving and flood protecting agronomic practices to farmers may substantially promote maize production and yields in Zambia.
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