The major crops grown include maize, rice, groundnuts, finger millet, mixed beans cassava, and sweet potatoes. The province has a conducive and favourable climate for growing these crops. The main crop grown is maize (corn) for the reason being that it is the staple food and as such receives much more support and attention from the government. Production of other crops is still low but potential for increased production exists.
Fig 6.1: Crop Production Levels in the Province
Source: Ministry of Agriculture
Availability of Land for Agriculture
In order to open up the province for agriculture development, the province has already secured vast tracks of land in a number of Resettlement Schemes in all the districts as well as one big farm block in Shiwang’andu. The total amount of land already secured is more than 250,000 hectares.
Table 6.3: Secured Land for Commercial Agriculture
|MPIKA||Mpepo Resettlement Scheme||28,000ha|
|Mufubushi Resettlement Scheme||6,700 Ha|
|Kanchibiya Resettlement Scheme||20,000 Ha|
|Manshya Farm Block||20,000 Ha|
|SHIWANG’ANDU||Manshya Farm Block||93,000 Ha|
|Kabanda Resettlement Scheme||24,754 Ha|
|Chipindo Resettlement Scheme||20,000 Ha|
|ISOKA||Lupandizi Resettlement Scheme||5,980 Ha|
|CHAMA||Kaozi Resettlement Scheme||7, 860 Ha|
|Chibale Resettlement Scheme||30,000 Ha|
(3% of province)
Source: Ministry of Agriculture & Department of Land Resettlement
Manshya Farm Block
Mansha farm block is located about 90 kilometres from Chinsali along the Safwa Chinsali road (road D56) in Muchinga Province. It is shared by three Chiefdoms namely Nkula, Kabanda and Mukwikile. The centre of the area lies approximately 31 degrees 30” E and 11 degrees 04.00 S. Mansha River forms the southern boundary while Sichilumba and Lutili stream form the eastern and south-eastern boundaries respectively (Anon, 1975). The climatic condition in Manshya is similar to that which prevails over much of Zambia, characterized by a tropical continental climate with three distinct seasons. There is a cool dry season from May to July, a hot dry season from August to Mid October and a hot wet season from End of October to April. During the 2010/2012 season when the demarcations and soil surveys were done, the climatic conditions were favourable for agriculture activities. The farm block is one of governments proposed farm blocks, one in each province earmarked for development on an out-grower scheme concept arrangement.
Suitability of Land for Agriculture
The Province falls in two ecological regions namely region III and region I of Zambia’s Agro-ecological zones.. However, over 75 percent of the province falls in region III with average temperature between 10 and 28, and annual rainfall of 1000mm to 1400mm while less than 25 percent of the area enjoys region I climatic condition with average annual rainfall of less than 1000mm with warm to hot temperatures. Chama district including areas along Luangwa valley in Isoka district falls in region I. The map below shows Zambia’s Agro-ecological zones.
Fig 6.2:Zambia’s Agro Ecological Zones & Location of Farm Blocks
Source: Ministry of Agriculture
Besides having sufficient rainfall, the province also has good soils for good crop production. The soils are capable of being maintained at a high level of productivity under an intensive cropping system. There are no special limitations but good management practices which include normal soil conservation practices, adequate use of fertilizers and lime as well as suitable crop rotation is advised.