Malawi commits to address looming hunger, fight malnutrition

Malawi government says it has set aside measures to address the impending hunger in the country.


Dr.Chiyembekeza in green cap with Mulanje South MP Bon Kalindo 2nd from right with other officials during the GDA in Mulanje.

Agriculture Minister Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza said this last Friday during the commemoration of the Global Day of Action (GDA) for Nutrition in Mulanje.

Malawi faces looming hunger following dry spells torrential rains and floods experienced in some parts of the country.

“The country will be hit by hunger, but my ministry is doing all it can to address this,” said Chiyembekeza as he assured the people of Mulanje, one of the districts affected by floods in the southern region.

Though he could not be drawn to disclose the exact measures government had put in place, the Minister responsible indicated he would be giving a statement in Parliament on Monday.

“It is the role of the government to make sure that food is available for the people and we will ensure that food is available.

“I can’t outline everything because I’ll be giving a ministerial statement which is covering the strategy, but government is doing a lot in trying to make sure that people have enough food,” assured Chiyembekeza.

On the other hand, the minister cautioned farmers who managed to harvest something not to sell their yields.

He said his ministry was aware that traders were all over in the villages buying maize from farmers. On this note, Chiyembekeza disclosed that government had set aside good prices and would soon start buying maize and other crops from those farmers who had harvest enough to sell.

“I would like to urge people in the villages not to sell their harvests to vendors but wait for government to commence buying, there are good prices set aside,” he said.

Speaking on the GDA for Nutrition, Chiyembekeza said the Government of Malawi was committed towards addressing malnutrition in the country.

The GDA for Nutrition was set aside for governments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and different stakeholders globally to lead in raising awareness to the public on the importance of nutrition.

“Malawi will continue to be a strong voice in support of nutrition and ensuring that it is prioritized,” he pledged.

The minister indicated that food and nutrition security needs to be measured with indicators and targets that ensure action and accountability toward access to adequate nutritious food.

While observing that malnutrition affects the poorest most, the minister indicated that malnutrition is the fundamental driver of poverty and inequality, saying it results in poor cognitive development, decreased productivity and consequently losses in Gross Domestic Product by 3-16 percent.

The 2015 GDA for Nutrition in Malawi was organized by Civil Society Organisations Nutrition Alliance (CSONA) Malawi under the theme “Keep the momentum: Nutrition at the core of Malawi’s Socio-Economic Development agenda”.

According to CSONA, nearly half (47 percent) of all children under the age of five are stunted while 14 percent are underweight and 4.1 percent are wasted.

“This has irreversible consequences for human life and poses a serious challenge the attainment of the Malawi Development Strategy Goals. We want Malawi to be a strong voice in nutrition,” said CSONA Malawi Project Officer Mtisunge Zimpita.

The event in Mulanje attracted government officials, CSOs, Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo, councilors, traditional leaders who included Senior Chief Mabuka, mother leaders and representatives of community based organizations.

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