Grain Traders faults Malawi govt’s maize import from Tanzania, Zambia: ‘Locals can supply’

Malawi’s Grain Traders and Processors Association has faulted the government for importing maize from Tanznaia and Zambia instead of asking private traders to supply it.

Mhnago: Local sourcing could have been ideal

Mhnago: Local sourcing could have been ideal

The country looking to Tanzania and Zambia for the purchase of 70,000 and 30,000 metric tons of maize, respectively, as the country faces the looming specter of hunger.

But president of Grain Traders and Processors Association, Grace Mhango, said local traders can purchase the maize and supply it to the government.

“By importing, the government will end up paying high landing costs compared to local sourcing,” said Mhango.

According to Wilfred Lipita, controller of agricultural services at Malawi’s Agriculture Ministry, the purchase of home-grown maize could affect grain prices.

“If we buy locally, prices might jump because some traders could take advantage of the situation by engaging in speculation,” Lipita is quoted saying, noting that grain prices in Tanzania and Zambia were slightly lower than those currently found in  Malawi.

Lipita confirmed that the Tanzanian government had since agreed to sell  Malawi 70,000 metric tons of maize.

Opposition political parties in parliament demanded government to treat hunger prevalent in some parts of the country as a matter of urgency.

Nsanje South West parliamentarian Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga confessed that a lot of people in his constituency are starving and are surviving on ‘Lily’ or ‘Nyika’ in local language as food.

Peoples Party Central Region President Uladi Mussa questioned why government is letting people suffer with hunger when actually parliament authorised the substantial resources for hunger management.

“I think government is taking Malawians for granted when dealing with the hunger issue in the country. You remember weeks ago we passed a bill in parliament authorizing government to borrow $80 million money from the World Bank among which buying maize was mentioned as a priority then why are they leaving people to starve, these people must be given food immediately”, said Mussa.

Malawi’s chronic food shortage worsened in January when flooding killed 176 people and decimated thousands of hectares of the staple crop.

According to a May report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi’s maize production fell by 27.7 percent — from 3.9 million to 2.9 million metric tons — during the 2014/15 fiscal year.

Maize purchased from Tanzania and Zambia , according to Lipita, will be made available to Malawian citizens, while some will go into the country’s strategic grain reserve, which currently contains only 50,000 metric tons of the commodity.

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Amutchona
Guest
If this is how the government and the powers that be think then we are in deep trouble. I have never heard of a country where the government opts to import at the expense of its own local industry. As to the argument that buying locally would trigger a price war is the most stupid thing I have ever heard in the history of mankind. The Zambian government will also buy from its own citizens. What makes us think that the Zambians will not raise prices once they hear that the maize is going to Malawi? Why can’t our own… Read more »
powder
Guest

muli mmadzi mayi! mukufuna kukolola pa umphwawi wa amalawi anzanu! mai wopanda chifundo! palibe angangwirizane ndiganizo lako posati mbava zinzako. can you imagine we are buying at 7000mk panopa come dec jan mudzagulitsa bwa? ana anjoka inu!

Yemwe Uja
Guest

Government’s decision to import makes more sense. It doesn’t need rocket science to understand that these local traders just want to rip off people. They will create an artificial shortage of the product and then sell at exorbitant prices.

Blessings Phiri
Guest

Mhango is trying to say that Malawi has enough maize therefore no need for additional maize. If locals can supply where will they get the maize since we know that Malawi this year did not produce enough maize due to erratic rains in Malawi. Now is Mhango in Malawi? Which “locals can supply”,? If you harvested enough yourself then dont think Malawi is you. Some people should teach her statistics

gogo
Guest

So a Malawi sitingalime chimanga chodyetsa dziko lanthu ayi nthawi ya Akamuzu dziko limakhala ndi chimanga chokwanila. buying from other countries you are encouraging maizegate! shame on Malawi government! kuba basi

Imraan Sadick
Guest

Koma ndalama yokagulira chimangacho kwa Admark imasowa
ndipo Chimanga chimagulidwa mowabera anthu ndikuchigulitsa at exorbitant prices

Bigdwag
Guest

Lest we forget, the Grain Traders Association is made up of traders. They are well aware that if government purchases maize from abroad, there will be plenty of maize on the market as such the price will be controlled. And they wont profiteer (or suck our blood) from the hunger situation. Ali mmadzi basi!

chingolopiyo
Guest
The government has taken the right direction to source the maize from other countries for the following reason: 1. To avoid bags filled with sand to be delivered to people 2. To avoid rotten maize delivered to people 3. To avoid cashgate, where people will claim payment for the things that they have not delivered. 4. To avoid poor delivery schedule by local traders. 5. Avoid high price with poor quality of maize delivered. Malawi government want the right price, delivered at the right place, at the right time, right quantity and right quality. The local traders should also understand… Read more »
kaya
Guest

Grain traders ndi ye kuti chani ngati mulinacho chimanga gulisani asiyeni a boma atigulile chochipa pa zambia and tz tizizagula k3000 pa bag chanu mwabisacho chikuwolelani mumva mubebe

chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
Guest
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa

Mhango you should understand the logic behind purchasing abroad. This will control the price of maize that the traders take advantage of. Think of unnecessary hikes from MK4000 or MK500 to MK7000 which many poor Malawians can not afford. What we want is each Malawian should afford buying maize to alleviate hunger. Maize is a staple food.

Sweet Boy
Guest
Why is it that Malawians kuchuluka nzeru? Lately people all over have been on the media saying that there is hunger in the country, now where has the grain the locals will be selling to government? Uladi Mussa, please act and talk like a grown up with a wife and children. If you agreed in parliament to borrow $80 million for buying grain don’t you think there is a number of logistical manoeuvres to be engaged. This grain is not going to be bought from Kamuzu road market in Salima but importing from neighbouring countries. And this woman called Mhango,… Read more »
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