More Malawians will this year relief food than initially thought as the number of hunger stricken Malawians has jumped from 2.8 million to 8.2 million but the government says it is already working on the figure.
Agriculture minister George Chaponda told a meeting of stakeholders on Wednesday in Lilongwe that a new survey has now put the figure that high.
“The situation is under control. The government has moved in very swiftly to put the situation under control as we have ordered that all barriers and red tapes be removed so that Admarc and the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) buy all the maize themselves,” he said.
He said in the past, the government was buying the maize on behalf of the two state grain companies, saying doing so now would delay the process as the food is needed as soon as possible.
Chaponda also said the government has told Admarc to buy maize from ordinary people as well as traders and from elsewhere in Africa where maize can be found. T
he stakeholders at the meeting included chiefs who hailed the government for the decision and for coming out open on the matter.
President Peter Mutharika recently declared Malawi a state of national disaster following El Nino powered floods in the north and drought in the south.
Chaponda said Admarc would handle the sell of maize in its depots professionally this time around.