Mozambique - Over 244,000 hectares of crops damaged by heavy rains

20.05.2022 92 views

Just over 244,000 hectares of various crops have been plagued by heavy rains, flooding, storms, and drought in the Mozambican 2021-2022 agricultural campaign.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the crop losses will jeopardise the livelihoods of more than 189,000 small producers.

Maize, beans and groundnuts were the main crops harmed by the excessive rain, which hit 4.6 per cent of the areas where the farmers had planted their seeds, in 95 districts of the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, the central provinces of Manica, Tete, Sofala and Zambezia, and the northern province of Nampula.

According to Hiten Jantilal, of the National Directorate of Agriculture, quoted in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Notícias", the impact of natural phenomena has shown the need to improve farmers' access to climate information, to help them make decisions and manage their activities.

"There is a need to improve the early warning mechanism for small producers and strengthen the capacity to provide agro-climatic information," Jantilal said, stressing that the central and northern regions were affected the most by the high rainfall, while the southern area suffered the effects of irregular or prolonged lack of rainfall.

By the end of March, the crops in the field were in the ripening stage in the northern region, and in the harvest stage in the centre and south.

"In the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula the Crop Water Satisfaction Index (HHI) is very good, at between 95 and 100 percent, despite the late start and excessive rains recorded in January and late March", the report from the Agriculture Ministry said.

Water availability for crop growth, says the document, was below 50 percent in the semi-arid districts of Gaza and Inhambane provinces. In this region, the rains were characterized by irregular spatial and temporal distribution, and several re-seeding events were recorded, resulting in failure.

In 14 districts in Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, it is estimated that about 60,000 hectares of maize and beans were affected by the lack of rain, damaging he livelihoods of 72,000 producers.

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