Over 1 200 hectors of crops lost in Kasungu hailstorm – Capital Radio Malawi
19 June, 2024

Over 1 200 hectors of crops lost in Kasungu hailstorm

More than 600 farmers have lost huge hectares of various crops in Kasungu district due to weather related disasters in the past weeks.

This is according to a preliminary report on an assessment done by the Department of Crops in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale visited the affected farmers in Kasungu to appreciate the extend of the damage.

Writing on his Facebook page, Kawale said the storm has left a lot of famers destitute as some farmers like one Mr Chunga, obtained bank loans to invest in farming.

Chunga, a Tobacco farmer who resides in Salima Village in the district  took a loan from FDH bank to invest in tobacco farming and had all his crops destroyed leaving him in huge debt.

“I visited him [Chunga] and other families to see for myself the devastation the hail storm left in this community,” Kawale said.

Chunga(in blue shirt) explaining his ordeal to Kawale (wearing sunglasses)

Chunga is one of the farmers who had their crops destroyed.

607 farmers from the villages of Nyambo, Mkombe, Katondo and Machinyira have been affected by the storm.

According to the assessment report for Kasungu district, the damaged crops include Maize, Soya, Tobacco, Beans, Tomatoes, Potato and Groundnuts.

Furthermore the disaster has destroyed 357.4 hectares of Maize, 502.4 hectares of Soya, 150 hectares of Tobacco, 194 hectares of beans, 4 hectares of tomato, 6 hectares of potato, and 85 hectares of ground nuts.

He therefore indicates that his ministry has commenced identification of alternative crops to help the affected farmers.

“The crops department is mobilizing sweet potato and cassava cuttings, which will be distributed soon,” the minister added.

He says this will be distributed to the farmers while they await food relief from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs-DoDMA.

Kawale added that; “We are aware that this is not the only community affected. We will reach out to all affected communities”.

The agriculture minister has since urged farmers to embrace crop insurance to mitigate such the losses.

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