Crop assessment findings
Most farmers planted from September but reached peak (48% - 65%) in November into December. This time is considered late as the recommended planting time in most livelihood zones according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is September to November. Agricultural production is predominantly subsistence and rain-fed making production susceptible to weather fluctuations.
A large number of households (67%) cited that they planted below three acres of land each to all crops, 32% between three and ten acres while only 1% planted above 10 acres. Majority (55%) planted the same area as the previous year, 27% planted smaller mentioning poor weather conditions, lack of agricultural inputs and draught power as their main reasons.
Types of Crops Planted
The variety of crops that were assessed were maize, sorghum, wheat, beans and peas .The findings indicated that 80% -100% of households planted maize, 29%-71% beans, 19%-59% sorghum and 1%-33% peas. The mountain areas indicated a significant proportion of households who planted wheat, ranging from 13% to 41%. Moreover, wheat was found to have performed very well compared to other crops regardless of weather challenges (snow and frost) experienced in October 2017
Livestock and rangelands conditions were largely described to be on average except in Bothabothe and Quthing where 60%-80% of households mentioned the conditions to be good. Water for livestock was scarce during the months of October 2017 to January 2018. Good rain which was experienced in February led to an improvement in rangelands and water availability for both domestic and livestock use. It was indicated that the country did not experience livestock diseases during this agricultural season.