Over 2.8 million people, out of the total projected population of 16.3 million, are food insecure and will not meet their annual food requirement during the 2015/16 consumption period, the Ministry of Finance has said.
The affected households are in the districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba and Rumphi in the north; Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu and Salima in central region; and Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo and Zomba in the southern region.
This follows an annual food security assessment the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) conducted from June 8 to July 2 this year to establish the food situation in the country.
“The results of the assessment show that a total of 2,833,212 people, out of the total projected population of 16,310,431, will not be able to meet their annual food requirement during the 2015/16 consumption period, representing 17 percent of the total projected population.
“The total humanitarian food that is required to support the affected people is estimated at 124,183 metric tonnes of maize with an estimated cash value of K18.6 billion,” said Ronald Mangani, Secretary to the Treasury.
According to him, these figures relate to the food requirement for vulnerable population only, which is lower than the maize consumption deficit of 223,723 metric tonnes provided by the Third Round Crop Estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The difference between the two estimates arises from the fact that part of the maize consumption deficit is off-set by the production of other food crops which the vulnerability assessment takes into account.
“There been an increase of 116 percent in the number of affected people during the 2015/16 consumption period,” said Mangani.
He said this increase is a result of weather-related hazards, ranging from late on-set of rains, floods and dry spells.
Mangani, however, said government, in collaboration with cooperating partners, will be implementing response interventions to assist the affected population.
Meanwhile, government, with funding from the World Bank, is procuring over 52,000 metric tonnes of maize for the affected people.
While the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) will procure an estimated 45,000 metric tonnes of maize to ensure availability of the commodity in its selling points and stabilize maize prices.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :