Minister says eat less: Malawi citizens should adopy ‘coping mechanism’ in crisis

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has called people in the country to reduce food wastes and take lesser meals during the lean period.

Chiyembekeza at Katundu Village pic Sungani Nyoni Mana

Chiyembekeza at Katundu Village pic Sungani Nyoni Mana



Chiyembekeza made the call in Thyolo on Tuesday when he visited farmers from Katundu and M’mambo villages in Matapwata and Thyolo Central Extension planning Areas (EPAs) to assess the crop situation and determine the impact of the dry spell.

He said floods and dry spells that hit most parts last year contributed to poor harvest of the staple grain that resulted into many families yielding.

“If you have food at home and you normally eat three meals a day please adjust yourselves to one and half meals. This is the only coping mechanism that can work in the current situation,” said Chiyembekeza.

On the current crop situation, Chiyembekeza said government was aware of the crop stand in the country as it was not only the district that was affected but a number of districts such as Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Mulanje were also affected.

The minister therefore explained that while government was still strategising on a lasting solution to the challenges, it has already planned to distribute cassava cuttings and sweet potato vines to the affected farmers to plant as an alternative.

On this note, Chiyembekeza advised the farmers to stop relying much on the rains but to divert to irrigation farming which has proven to be the best in the country and other parts of the world.

Said Chiyembekeza, “For the past two years we have seen the adverse impact of climate change and one of them is the unreliable rainfall pattern which has been so disastrous. Therefore we need to be shifting towards irrigation farming and also to do crop diversification.”

One of the farmers from Katundu Village, Francis Mwinjiro said farmers in the area do not have any hope because they planted with the first rains and the dry spell came at a time when the crops were at a flowering stage.

“We planted in mid December last year and the dry spell came when our crops were at an advanced stage. We cannot uproot and replant because the time has already gone. We just need help,” said Mwinjiro.

In his brief report, Thyolo District Agricultural Development Officer Raphael Mkisi said the district experienced dry spells for a period of four weeks from third week of December to second week of January.

“The four weeks of dry spell in the district had effects which ranged from mild to very severe. The total affected area was 27,110 hectares of various crops and out of that 10,888 hectares were severely affected and needed replanting,” said Mkisi.

According to the DADO, the food situation in the district as of this month is 29 percent whereas same period last growing season it was at 11 percent.

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43 thoughts on “Minister says eat less: Malawi citizens should adopy ‘coping mechanism’ in crisis”

  1. mbani says:

    mbuzi another Jappie in the making

  2. Mlawiboy says:

    The minister looks as though he should lead by example and eat only half of what he so obviously eats per day.
    How does that fat man expect people to take him seriously when he obviously enjoys what they obviously need, Enough real food.
    Shame on him.

  3. Rankin Kumwenda says:

    Allan,walephera.Just go back to breeding groundnuts at Chitedze.

  4. mwene says:


  5. ZATHU.DWEDE says:


  6. Will Phillips says:

    It seems there may be a disconnect of understanding, at least in regard to the Shire Valley… here we are hearing (unconfirmed) currently…overall 15 to 20% of the people eating three meals a day? … The rest 80 to 85% two or less meals (likely with little relish). So whatever the figure is of people without three meals per day (and to what nutritional standard?) we are in problems… and so desperate statements, well meaning, but perhaps showing a shallow well bone dry for solutions… we wait for irrigation schemes to be brought on line… until then what will change?

  7. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Kumene tichokera mukudziwako!
    Kapena tidziti mwabadwa lero???

    Mwadzolowera kuphika nsima yaphwamwamwa
    kuilumpha mpaka kuilephera!

    Chimanga chiliko ku Admarc
    koma ma dokotala ndi manesi mudzilima chimanga cha odwala!

    Mose wa lero mose wa lero ndi Mutharika!

  8. Ellias says:

    Eat less? iweyo ukudya less pakhomo pako? magalimoto ukuyenderawo?

  9. phanana says:

    How can a Minister advise the whole country that people should eat less meals while many people are sleeping with empty stomach for 7days,give us lasting food availability solutions in this country. There’s no maize available in admarks.

  10. ndebvuzamwayi says:

    No! it was Jappy M hango who proposed this stupid scheme for Hospitals to have their own land for feeding the patients. It was the same Minister who said there is plenty of maize in Admarc depots. Our admarc in Zomba however, is full with timber for cement and malata project. useless.

  11. mgonapanja says:

    The minister is right.Adjust to the situation.This is what we call survival strategies.Dependence syndrome will kill Malawians…ati kumangodikila kuti wina abweretsa chimanga.Learn to plan and budget what you have so that it takes you more days.I rest my case

  12. President Mkango Lion Chivomorezi Chisokonezo Manthakanjenjemereza says:

    Kodi mbuzi za ma ministers zikuyankhulanji. Goodall talked shit, Jappie talked shit. Here is another shit of a minister.

  13. Kamuzu Mbewe says:

    Inde, nduna yopusa imeneyi! Sakudziwa kuti ife tikamadzimbidwa usiku uli onse ndiye timati tafikapo …

  14. Mbuzinza ma minister izi.

  15. OH MY GOODNESS! What a lost opportunity for encouraging people to eat from the 6 food groups – not just staple foods. We need to eat MORE variety, not less.

    Grains and tubers are only one food group and yes we need to reduce and diversify within that food group, but also to make sure we fill our plates with more indigenous species that are currently undervalued and under-utilised in agriculture and diets:
    1 staples (grains like millet, sorghum, roots like yams of so many different types, green bananas and plantains)
    2 – fruits (there are so many undertulized wild ones),
    3 – vegetables (leaves, fruits, mushroom, roots),
    4 – legumes and nuts (they are being forgotten to quickly for new varieties)
    5 – animal foods (insects that are out in high numbers right now)
    6 – fats & oils (avocado, coconut, oilseeds which are often neglected)

  16. kadamanja says:

    Galu ya uMinister ina ndi iyi. why are you in the cabinet?

  17. 2016 welcome says:

    Son of a bitch! You deserve no respect. A true reflection of the leadership malaise we have.

  18. shamwali gubanifufa says:

    Just imagine the whole minister bring that point, what policy can he make for the good of the country?

  19. Sapitwa says:

    Iam trying to figure out if this advice is temporary for the given period when maize from ADMARC is inadequate. If so, then people are already eating less; one meal a day and some still sleep in empty stomachs.
    If the advice is to do with bad crops due to the dry spell in December, then the advice is inadequate or unhelpful. I think people should be encouraged to grow sweet potatoes and cassava as these crops can easily adapt now. In this context, people will be able to have one nsima meal a day supplemented by a cassava or sweet potatoes after harvest from April this year.they can also grow maize again from April in dambo areas using irrigation and applying some fertilizer to harvest in July.

  20. Advisory Committee says:

    The ministers has run out ideas people want food and you tell them to eat one and half meals? Senseless useless clueless thoughtless careless minister!

  21. vavlov says:

    Malawi has many stupid ministers. Another idiot, said hospital personnel should be growing maize to feed patients, now this one tells poor people to eat less, ah, what an idiot. How many free meals does he take himself?

  22. Wopusa Uyu says:

    Minister wopusa uyu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. brizzy says:

    Hon Minister u shud lead by example urself…trim ur allowances plus or minus 20,000MK since this figure will match that 1/2 meal aday otherwise fuck u sir!!

  24. Jimbo says:

    For a minister to propose this as a solution to the food shortage is outrageous! How can he stand there and tell people to eat less when his government has done nothing to alleviate the situation. Shame on APM and the DPP government. Is this their only response to the food shortage? Is this the first time the rains have failed? In a country where the people are totally dependent on the weather for their food supply, it is past time when the government should have come up with solutions. This Minister of Agriculture should be dismissed forthwith as an embarrassment to the government.

  25. Usandilakwise GALU iwe says:

    Tsopano GALU iwe wakagula chimanga ku Admarc ndi kukagawa ku chipatala china chake ku mpoto, nde uziti tizidya ka modzi pa tsiku.
    Kupanda kugula chimanga chonse cha Admarc, bwenzi tikubvutika chonchi GALU iwe?
    Ndi mau ako osasawo, usazalankhulenso za nsete ngati izi, ukumva GALU iwe?

  26. Winston Msowoya says:

    If this is the type of the so- called Ministers we have in our country,we can as well pack up and go to hell.I very well remember the first Cabinet Ministers at independence Chipembere and colleagues,offered 10 percent of their salaries to go to poor people,however,Banda did not despite his salary was more than the Ministers’ take home.The Minister Allan Chiyembekeza,by saying this rubbish,he might not be in good form.SHAME!!! So if the people who are paying him fat salaries go into malnutrition because of lack of enough food and consequently loose balance to work,where could this fat bellied fed on beacon slab get money to feed himself?Malawians,let us get united and kick out Muthalika and his dead- woods before they completely destroy what has so far remained.Malawians cannot be treated by elected members of the government impudently,this shows the Mathanyula’s administration has completely collapsed and it must teach us that politics motivated by tribalism and regionalism does not work.Many countries in Africa have fallen because of the same politics,so when are we going to learn our lessons and who is a victim of this cancerous politics? It is we innocent and ordinary citizens whether we are hinyas,lomwes,chewas, senas,yaos and the rest.MALAWi IS NO MORE!!!

  27. The Partriot says:

    Dr Chiyembekeza! It seems you have just run out of ideas on how to tackle the food crisis in the country! The other day you were in town telling DHOs to start farming to produce food for patients, and you called it “innovation!”
    Today, you are telling starving Malawians, who are already eating one meal a day to “eat less”. In other words , you are suggesting people should stop eating! All this , you are saying while receiving 1000 liters of fuel a month and getting obscene amounts of Kwachas in allowances! I suggest that you cut down eating yourself and your family, and give up you your fuel allowances. If Dr Chiyembekeza gave up his fuel allowance(800, 000MK per month), the money saved would buy 100 bags of maize a month. This would be donated to people in need of food.

  28. Wagwatu says:

    Pokhalira pako iwe Chiyembekeza.

  29. Mathanyula Peter says:

    Heeeeee, Malawi ministers. Wina akuti eat less, wina told DHO to start farming. DPP, BOMA!!!!!

  30. Dawmbazi says:

    Mr retarded Minister you missed the point, people are not starving because they are over-eating they are starving because they have NOTHING, there is NO FOOD period. You need to move out of your glass house, go into the villages and see how bad things are before you starting giving non-sensical advice

  31. ANTI-GAY says:

    With your pot belly how many meals do you take a day mr chiyembekedza

  32. Ngongoliwa says:

    Are you eating less yourself? With your big belly! The Prado why not a Corolla? Your salary why not halve it? Your fuel allowance? etcetc. How much are you going to reduce? Are you a doctor to prescribe what we should eat and how much? If it were Bingu this dude would have gone. Ma degree a papela basi.

  33. Mulhomwe Wankulu says:

    Uyu nde pumbwa weni weni ngati ujeni wake yomwe adamusankha pa mpandowu. Iweyo ukadakhala kuti umadya kamodzi patsiku, bwenzi uli pamenepo? Galu iweeee, mbuzi meeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Stupid zanu nonse kubomako.

  34. Ndemwende says:

    Uyambe ndiwe ndi ana ako ndi zibwenzi zako

  35. Ngongoliwa says:

    Iwowo a Minister akudya pang’ono?

  36. Achakulungwa says:

    100 % in agreement with Afera. This stupid Minister needs to be shown the exit door along side Jappie Mhango but this can’t happen because their boss is also stupid.

  37. Benjones says:

    Shame on you my minister. We can only expect such statement from our illiterate educated ministers.

  38. youna says:

    Koma ndiyetu mwatitola nayo njala yochita kukonzayo. You claim to have bought enough maize from Zambia, where is it it? Mwatigulitsiranso ma tractor yet lero mukuoneka kuti muli desperate. No wonder everything this Government touches turns into poison. Akondeni aMalawi chonde!

  39. kambwali says:

    ndiwe mbuzi, wapanila ma allowance and u tell people to eat once? you and ur moya have failed to run government and the best u can do is to step down

  40. Miyala says:

    Thupi samanga ndi miyala bwana. Find both short, medium and long term solutions not advising people to eat 11/2 meals a day. Do you do that yourself Hon Minister? After all somebody has already said you enjoy our taxes. Ndi udindo wa Boma kusamala anthu ake.

  41. Anaya says:

    My dear Minister, its disheartening to hear you speaking of ‘still strategising on lasting solutions close to 2 years of being in the office. By the way, do you know the long term effects of scaling down food intake you are advocating? (especially on under-fives, lactating mothers and expectant women). I see a lost generation in near future. Of course there is a slight ray of hope to hear you talking of irrigation. But my question remains, what is the government doing (right now) on irrigation? come Dec 2016 we will be pleading for help once more like clueless chickens and cursing the rainfall for food insecurity. SHAME ON ME AND YOU

  42. Afera says:

    Does he eat less himself? He lives on our taxes and eats as much as he can till his tummy can take no more.

  43. CitizenX says:

    He should also travel less, use a cheaper car, less bodyguards, stay in a cheap house, less salary, as he has said malawi is in a bad situation rite, so mr minister please lead by example or shut your mouth ok.

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