Malawi former vice president Khumbo Kachali who is now Member of Parliament for Mzimba South West has told parliament that he is at pains with the food situation in the country.
There are long queues of maize buyers at state grain trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) depots throughout the country because of shortage of the staple grain.
Kachale said Malawians have been queuing overnight to buy the grain which in most cases has not been available
“Mr Speaker, Sir, I am at pains. What is happening at Mzimba ADMARC is that women with babies are spending sleepless nights waiting for a truck [of maize] to come all the way from Lilongwe. These are the people who have come all the way from Mzimba South West which is Edingeni,” Kachali told parliament.
He asked Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza to decentralise the distribution of maize “instead of waiting for a truck to leave Lilongwe for Nsanje or Lilongwe for Mzimba.”
Said Kachali: “ADMARC has got offices in all the districts. Why don’t we flood this maize in the districts so that in those districts, distribution can be done in various ADMARC markets.”
Kachali received applause from the members.
He said if they w continue with the pace of sending the maize in “a piecemeal form,” the problem of vendors buying in bulk to overprice the grain shall always be there “no matter how many policemen you deploy to ADMARC markets.”
“Instead of the maize leaving Capital Hill or Lilongwe, let the maize be flooded to our districts and open more satellite markets in our various constituencies,” advised Kachale.
Presenting a ministerial statement on the food situation in the country in Parliament on Monday, Chiyembekeza has 9 300 metric tonnes (MT) of maize in stock.
The minister explained that there was high demand for Admarc maize because it was selling at K110 per kilogramme (kg) compared to K240 per kg on the open market.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :