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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23 thoughts on “Grain Traders faults Malawi govt’s maize import from Tanzania, Zambia: ‘Locals can supply’”

  1. Amutchona says:

    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 government set a price and only go for importation once they cannot source locally? Should we really be spending forex on a commodity that we can source locally? The level of ignorance in the country is beyond acceptable levels.

    As for those who argue that Northerners are against DPP, you ought to be reminded that it is only the north that can vote for parties from the other Regions and not the other way round. DPP, PP and MCP have seats in the North. Has any Northern Region party got seats in the other regions? So who is regionalistic in this case?

  2. powder says:

    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!

  3. Yemwe Uja says:

    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.

  4. Blessings Phiri says:

    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

  5. gogo says:

    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

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

  6. Bigdwag says:

    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!

  7. chingolopiyo says:

    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 the quantity required, and do do the right thing is to source from outside from reliable source where contract should be implemented and suppliers performance be measured. How can the government measure the performance of the local traders. If the government source from Tanzania and Zambia, quality will be assured. We love money, but sourcing maize for the nation is like sourcing drugs and that cannot be left in the hands of the locals, that is playing with peoples life.

  8. kaya says:

    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

  9. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    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.

  10. Sweet Boy says:

    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, all she is looking at is just to advance here projects by off loading the maize she accumulated and sell at exorbitant prices. Let government handle this matter professionally other than every Jim and Jack poking their nose in businesses that does not concern them, much as they are Malawian citizens.

  11. Kasungu says:

    Malawian will always be taken for a ride coz the same maize from Malawi is being exported through uncharted roots . Malawian should expect to pay thrice for the same because of logistics . Those idiots who doesnt know international trade will say buy from outside but export is a document oriented transaction hence no way for running away from the truth . U unpatriotic people are Westing ur time teasing northerner but truth of the matter is that.

  12. Stanley says:

    Logic is simple, if govt buys maize locally price would rise,what government is doing by importing is trying to increase supply of the commodity, so as to manage inflation. Because demand for maize will much the supply, eventually our local trader will be forced to lower price

  13. Saiton Phiri says:

    I think it’s a good idea for the government to import maize than private sectors because by that way people will be able to buy cheaper.

  14. Tengupenya says:

    Constituency matters pa Malawi. Check location of the local traders who have maize then you will understand why govt is opting for importation first. In the final analysis the Malawi economy would benefit more if the maize is sourced locally. Money would circulate among Malawians. On the other hand, Importing the grain from Zambia or Tanzania benefits transporters and the supplying economies more.

  15. JJB says:

    There is a shortage of Maize in Malawi.

    How do some people think?

    So you sell the little maize that you have, and two month latter cry of hunger and expect Government to source maize from TZ, by that time the prices will have gone up in TZ.

    Malawians are very STUPID people.

  16. wakwitu says:

    Ngati boma LA Malawi lingayangule ndi zambia kapena Tanzania tikoza kukagula cimanga mosavuta. Muziwe kuti kumenekoso anayika malamuro oti cimanga cisamatuluke muziko mwao

  17. mhango ndi mtumbuka sanganene zabwino za dpp get out northernerz we are tired with you

  18. Actually you are going to buy your own maize Tanzania are busy buying maize from Chitipa and Zambia also busy buying from Mçhinji, Rumphi, Mzimba. Our thinking some where in Malawi is very questionable.

  19. Mphepo Zinai says:

    Another fraud loophole. The DPP cannot wait….for this awesome chance

  20. kaya says:

    If the landed costs of maize from zambia and tz is cheaper than from the local suppliers go for it ma local suppliers are expensive tinaonela ma transporters a xenophonia south Africans were cheaper they were charging k3milion pamene local transporters were changing k8million it is only reasonable to drop the local suppliers they have to rethink on pricing tinazowerera zachabe kuicharge boma ndalama zankhani nkhani for little goods or services or nothing at all stupod careless thoughtless and senseless local traders

  21. zakusimba says:

    GOVERNMENT IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK. MATENDA GREED. YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION. MUWONA CHIMANGA CHANUCHO CHIWOLA.

  22. Patriot says:

    Agule chimanga ku Malawi?
    Za cash gate azipanga liti?
    Akagula kunjako, it is easy to inflate the prices and therefore cashgating more.
    DPP is an open book, read between their eyes.

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