Agribank on drought
Statement issued by Regan Mwazi, Manager Marketing
and Communication, Agribank
The prolonged dry spell severely affected crop production during the 2012/2013 cropping season (Nov June). This situation was exacerbated by the outbreak of army worms in some parts of the crop producing regions in the northern communal areas. As a result the nationa l cereal output for 2013 has been severely affected and is forecast at 96,000 tonnes as indicated in the table below, a 42 percent decline when compared to 2012 harvesting season. This will result in the increase of imports for maize to 115,000 tonnes for the 2013/2014 marketing year. The Government assessment/verification mission back in February 2013 found that most household stocks will be depleted earlier than August 2013.
In addition, the grazing conditions in most parts of the country have deteriorated due to the rainfall deficit affecting the conditions of livestock. Livestock farmers have been urged to sell off their livestock to minimize the impact of the drought. The Government declared a national emergency in May for various partners both international and local to mobilize resources towards mitigating the effects of the drought on the society.
Agribank is no exception and has mobilized resources to respond to the agriculture industry which is severely affected by drought. An extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders is on-going and at an advanced stage on drought mitigation & preparedness and an announcement will be made very soon. It is too early to know the impact of the drought on the performance of the bank as clients are still to approach the bank on financial assistance or making other arrangements as a result of the drought. We join the Government in calling upon all farmers to sell off their livestock while still in good shape.