The state grain marketer, ADMARC, has started rationing maize with only 500 metric tonnes in its reserves as almost two million people in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, have run out their staple food maize, which they grind to prepare their meals.
Most Admarc deports have run out of maize as the grain marketer struggles to manage its almost-depleted reserves inorder to meet the demand of many Malawians to carry them through up to March, when the next harvest is due.
Admarc Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jere Jana revealed the maize rationing is only option to manage a remainder of 10, 000 metric tonnes National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) released in September last year.
”We have to ration what we have now, and that is only way to meet demand up to next harvest season,” Jana told Capital Radio, a closely held private broadcaster.
Jana disclosed that ADMARC is at pressure to maintain normal supplies with little remaining its reserves.He said by December last year, the grain marketor had supplied down to the markets over 50 percent the maize it got from NFRA and that many depots are currently run out of stock.
Thousands of people are forced to spend nights at Admarc depots across the country just to buy the cheap grain. Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) projected that 1.9 million Malawians were facing hunger,
The Admarc maize crisis is one of the issues to take centre stage during the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee apart from this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (Fisp).
The current maize crisis is expected to add more pressure on President Joyce Banda who has been distributing maize to hunger stricken families.
Government officials, including Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Professor Peter Mwanza, have said Malawi has adequate maize stocks to take the country to the next harvest season.
But President Banda declared hunger and have been busy distributing relief aid.
There are also concerns among some that at a time thousands of Malawians are going without food, maize is being exported.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :