An assessment that MwAPATA Institute undertook in the districts in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts show that the country will experience reduction of maize produce this year due to floods and late onset of rains.
Executive Director for the Institute William Chadza told journalists on Tuesday that 3.9 million metric tons of maize will be produced in the 2022/2023 growing season, a decrease from 4.4 million metric tons realized last year.
Chadza said that a family in Chikwawa district reported having 12 bags of maize destroyed by floods and loss of food has resulted in serious food insecurity and will likely lead to malnutrition particularly among children.
“On crop production, a total of 42,276.7 hectares of various crops were affected in Chikwawa district. In Nsanje, the floods also affected 12,981 hectares of land under crop production.
“Our assessment team visited one solar-power irrigation scheme in Nsanje and noted that solar panels were either washed away by the floods or covered by muddy. The floods damaged the Shire Valley Transformation Project intake dam and a stretch of 750 of the irrigation canal. The damaged irrigation schemes would need financial resources to be rehabilitated and, in some cases redesigned,” he explained
On intervention, he said that there is a need for swift support with agriculture production inputs, including seeds, pesticides and livestock.
Chadza also recommended the implementation of a resettlement scheme for households in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts especially in flood-prone areas and that the relocated households should have the opportunity to maintain their low-lying lands for agriculture production while residing in upper lands.
He also said that there is a need to rehabilitate and strengthen infrastructure and road networks which are particularly important to reconnect affected households to their economic livelihoods including markets and medical facilities.
Cyclone Ana resulted in some of the most intense floods that Malawi has ever experienced since 1980s.