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7% increase in maize production is nothing to celebrate

Written by on May 7, 2021

The Zambia Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance says the 7% increase in maize production forecasted for this year is nothing to celebrate as it is not likely to have any tangible impact on the fight against hunger and malnutrition in Zambia.

Minister of Agriculture, Michael Katambo this week announced that Zambia expects to harvest up to 3.6 million metric tonnes of maize as compared to the 3.3 million metric tonnes produced last season.

CSO-SUN Country Coordinator, Mathews Mhuru is worried that the 2020/2021 farming season has seen a reduction in the production of crops such as sorghum, millet, cassava and Irish potatoes which are critical to the fight against hunger and malnutrition as they are healthier alternatives to maize based diets.

Mr. Mhuru says that despite recording maize bumper harvests for over a decade now, Zambia’s nutritional status has not improved because the country has not placed premium on the production of foods that meet the dietary needs of citizens. He further added that despite the maize bumper harvest that was recorded last year, over 2 million Zambians are still facing various categories of hunger while the country continues to rank poorly in the global hunger index.

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