NFRA wants Malawi govt to allow farmers export ‘excess maize’

President Peter Mutharika says he is considering a request from the country’s grain reserve to lift a ban on maize export so that commercial farmers can export excess maize.

Queing for maize at Admarc depot

Queing for maize at Admarc depot

Nasinuku Saukira: There is excess maize

Nasinuku Saukira: There is excess maize

Mutharika broke the stunning news on Monday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during a news conference.

“I know even the minister of Finance (Goodall Gondwe) is surprised but this is true. NFRA (National Food Reserve Agency) says there is excess maize, they are asking me to lift the export ban. No one will die of hunger, Mr Saukira of NFRA has assured me,” said Mutharika.

On Friday, the parliamentary committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources chairman Felix Jumbe enormously backed NFRA move to ask the government lift the maize export.

“The country has enough maize in stock. Private traders have enough maize too so the government should let them export it at a lager profit,” said Jumbe, Salima Central MP and one of the opposition critical voices in parliament on issues of food and agriculture.

Malawi needs 2.5 million metric tonnes of maize per year and Jumbe, opposition Malawi Congress Party spokesperson on agriculture says the country has enough grain in its reserves.

NFRA general manager Nasimuko Saukira said there should be no cause for alarm as the silos have enough maize to feed the nation up to March next year.

Almost 30 tonnes of maize are being transported to each district every day and reports from districts indicate there is enough stocks of maize in Admarc depots across the country.

Mutharika said he is yet to make a decision on the matter.

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8 thoughts on “NFRA wants Malawi govt to allow farmers export ‘excess maize’”

  1. RayAnne says:

    what is wrong with us? weren’t we importing aid corn and begging for hunger relief!!! and you say we got excess? Have we lost our marbles completely!!

  2. Kenkkk says:

    Utter stupidity of embarrassing and disgraceful scale. Go to the villages, people are hungry and dying.

    You should distinguish between people who can pay and those who can’t afford to pay for them size.

  3. Joseph Banda says:

    This means the TRADERS were holding. With the fall of Malawi Kwacha against Dollar, then the traders believe will make windfall profits. KUCHIMWA KWQAMBIRI. CHURCH LEADERS PLEASE ISSUE PASTOR LETTERS.

  4. ngerengere says:

    Mutharika must think sometimes,get your time and visit the villages and appreciate poverty how can you gvt raise school fees when pple are failing to pay 5000. And now you say about maize.how can you export maize when a bag is going at 111000 and there are still long ques at admarc

  5. Makonokaya says:

    Bwana Saukira do not cheat the president. The president is a listening person but do not take advantage to abuse your position. If you are following the weather pattern you have heard of Elninho. We might get less rains or excess which will affect 2015/16 production. If we export the maize in reserves of private business persons we will shortly run short of maize. We do not have Forex reserves to import maize next year,

    You should have been talking to these businessmen assuring them that government will buy from them next year. Mind you it is cheaper for NFRA to buy maize locally than to import. Good Gondwe was recently on radio warning that the economic situation will worsen if we do not get adequate rain this growing season. Your recommendations has the impact of worsening our situation as a country and putting the economy in further problems.

    Mr Saukira please refrain. Mr president please ignore this advise.

    Please consider delaying such a decision till the rains direction is known. In any case to be strategic about maize exports, the plan should start well in advance. A campaign to encourage commercial farmers to grow excess maize for export and licence exporters according to their expected output can be put in place well before liberalizing maize sales for export. In that we will truly have excess maize.

    During the UDF time a blunder of this type was committed and we ended up with acute hunger the following year.

    If you think inflation is high, you will be surprised with the spike in inflation when private maize reserves run dry.

  6. vyakuchitika says:

    Why did government have to buy maize from Zambia if our commercial farmers have surplus of the same commodity? I need to know.

  7. Bingu says:

    Shocking story indeed. Firstly, why did gvt waste forex on maize importation if the country has more than enough. Secondly, going by what the president’s inconsistences, this statement can only be treated with great caution. What I am seeing in all this is poor communication between GVT and the NFRA. The strategic nature of maize in Malawi calls for seamless updates to the President and te nation at large. Perhaps this is the more reason the nation needs the Access to Information law to avoid this form of mediocrity.

  8. Kanyimbi says:

    I now understand we have a robot masquerading as a president. Malawi government has been asking donors to assist us with food and now you are saying Malawi has enough maize? For your own information Mr president, I failed to buy Maize at Kasungu ADMARC on 7th December because they are selling in quotas and the quota for that day had been sold. But the time was 10:00 am. Please have common sense sometimes the advice you get is for your own destruction.

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