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15,000 Hectares Of Crops Destroyed By Cyclone Freddy - FUM

Nkhata (in the middle) at one of the damaged irrigation schemes in Nsanje Nkhata (in the middle) at one of the damaged irrigation schemes in Nsanje - pic courtesy of FUM

Preliminary assessment by the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) indicates that over 15,000 hectares of crops were washed away by Tropical Cyclone Freddy induced floods.

The worst thing according to FUM President Maness Nkhata is that this happened when farmers were about to start harvesting crops like maize.

Nkhata told Zodiak Online that the lean period for most affected households has been extended.

"Much as we appreciate the current responses by government and other stakeholders towards the disaster, we ask government and stakeholders to support rehabilitation of affected irrigation schemes for the farmers to start using the irrigation schemes, provide the farmers with agriculture inputs for winter cropping, restock livestock and reconstruct flood control structures to protect irrigation schemes from future floods," said Nkhata.

She also asked Government to quickly make alternative routes while exploring a robust reconstruction of key road infrastructures to facilitate access to markets for farmers.

"We urge the farmers to actively participate in environmental rehabilitation and management through protection of existing natural forests, planting of trees and avoid cultivating along river banks," said Nkhata.

She also pleaded with government to swiftly get on the market through ADMARC and secure enough maize for redistribution through its markets in the affected districts.

Agriculture Commentator Gresham Kamnyamata asked the farmers to explore potential sites for winter cropping while waiting for rehabilitation of the damaged irrigation schemes.

Cyclone Freddy made a landfall in the southern part of Malawi on 12 and 13 March 2023 and it left the region heavily devastated.

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Last modified on Friday, 07/04/2023

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