Government will at the end of this month embark on the first round of nationwide crop and livestock assessment.
The assessment seeks to establish disease prevalence, state of pastures and water supply.
In an interview yesterday, Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos said: “The first round of the crop and livestock assessment will commence towards the end of January when most field crops — maize, soyabeans, cotton, groundnuts and small grains — would have been planted.
“However, for sugar beans and sweet potatoes, farmers will continue planting beyond January.”
Deputy Minister Haritatos said results will provide an early warning to decision makers on the possible outcome of the present cropping season.
“The assessment identifies areas of intervention as they relate to saving the season’s crop and make recommendations and also identifies interventions for the livestock sector,” he said.
“The exercise identifies areas that need to be addressed in future seasons and addresses gaps in production that may have been identified.
“Data collected will help in the Second Round Crop and Livestock Assessment. The First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment does not come up with yield and production estimates. These estimates are done during the Second Round Crop and Livestock Assessment.
“This is done in late March or April when crops are mature. This will be at the end of the season.”
Deputy Minister Haritatos encouraged farmers to continue adhering to good practices such as pest and weed control.