Petauke district commissioner Elijah Mwale says the poor crop quality in the district is a clear projection of looming hunger in this coming harvesting season.
The district commissioner cited a number of challenges which have contributed to the poor crop standard in all the six chiefdoms of Petauke district.
Speaking to ZANIS , Mr.Mwale pointed out that the rainfall pattern was also not conducive in the first quarter of this year hence causing the crop development to be poor in several fields.
Mr.Mwale said the bad crop standard can be attributed to late distribution of farming inputs in the 2012-2013 farming season.
He also pointed out that low cotton prices in the 2013 marketing season was a major factor to the current scenario since people could find means of scouting for the farming inputs when the cotton price is adjusted upwards.
The district commissioner however called on farmers in the district to embrace crop diversification if they are to realise enough money from their hard work.
Mr.Mwale cited cassava planting, large scale sweet potatoes and ground nuts production as some of the crops which can be grown by Petauke residents. He was quick to mention that dependence on relief food should be a thing of the past as it is meant for the marginalised groups and not the able bodied.