Agriculture sector continues to perform in 2011

Dr the Hon Timothy Harris

ZIZ News…June 1, 2011 – Recent forecasts on agriculture output from the Department of Agriculture shows consistent growth in the production of vegetables for the year 2011.

Tomato production for the month of May is put at 28,395lbs and 24,625lbs for the month of June, way in excess of the 20,000lbs estimated as the domestic national demand.

Sweet pepper production for May and June 2011will satisfy more than 75% of national demand.

Output of peanuts is estimated at 6,400lbs for May and 17,880lbs for June, way in excess of the monthly domestic demand of 6000lbs.

Similar outstanding outputs are forecasted for watermelon, pumpkin, onions, cabbages and carrots for the months of May and June. As a result of the outstanding performances in the agricultural sector, the Department of Agriculture says there is no need for the country to import tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions and sweet peppers for May and June 2011.

Commenting on the latest crop forecasts, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister and Minister of Agriculture said he was pleased by the good news. “The farmers, despite the odds are doing their best to ensure food security and nutrition. They are producing some vegetables in excess of the national demand. It is now for us to invest in storage facilities, agro processing technology and to improve on the agro tourism linkages. Indeed we are progressing but we still have so much potential to be realized in the sector. This potential will only be realized by application of science and technology to the sector and consistent budgetary support to the sector”.

In 2010 agriculture grew by over six percent compared to 2009. In contrast, tourism and construction reflected declines.

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