Thursday, February 23, 2017


Government of Malawi


The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development annually conducts Agricultural Production Estimates Survey. The objective of the survey is to assess the country’s agricultural production to inform planning and policy direction for the nation. The survey includes all agricultural commodities, thus, crops, livestock and fisheries. The survey is conducted in three rounds every year.

The first round is conducted from September of the preceding year to January of the current year. The first round estimates are based on farmers’ intentions on crops to be grown and their related hectarage. The results from the first round may not conclusively inform the ultimate agricultural production as farmers’ intentions can change in the course of implementing respective farm activities; weather conditions and related parameters may also change in the course of the agricultural season. Nevertheless, results of the first round provide early warning signals on national food security so that policy makers in the public, private and non state sectors can make informed decisions regarding impending food situation.
The second round is conducted from February to March and focuses on verification and adjustment of area measurement for crops grown by the sampled agricultural households. Results obtained are used to determine crop area planted for the season. Results of this round are normally released in April every year.
The third round which is normally considered as the final round is undertaken during the harvesting period from April to May. The third round mainly involves weighing of the harvest to obtain actual yield for crops. The third round indicates the national food basket and determines the food deficit or surplus.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has finalized the first round of 2016/17 Agriculture Production Estimates Survey. The results show that national maize production is projected at 3,220,712 metric tons, which is 35.9 percent higher than the 2015/16 final round estimate of 2,369,493 metric tons.
Rice production is expected to go up by 41.5 percent. Production of sweet potatoes is projected to increase by 27.6 percent. Millet and sorghum production will increase by 118.6 and 79.3 percent respectively. However, wheat production is projected to drop by 6.4 percent.

The results also show that productions of groundnuts, beans and pigeon peas are expected to increase by 22.2, 15.0 and 19.7 percent, respectively.

For major cash crops, tobacco production will decrease by 36.6 percent while cotton production is expected to go up by 7.6 percent.

In terms of livestock, the population of cattle has increased from 1,470,895 to 1,508,299 representing 2.5 percent increase as compared to the final round for the 2015/16 agricultural season. The populations of goats and pigs have also increased by 5.0 percent and 14.6 percent.

Fish production for capture fisheries has increased by 8.4 percent and aquaculture fish production has also increased by 46.7 percent. Overall, fish production has increased by 10.0 percent.

For more information, please contact the Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

Erica Maganga (Mrs)
13th February, 2017

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