No cause to panic: Malawi set to fight food shortage

Malawi has advised its people ‘not to panic’ as a result of looming hunger because it has already worked out a mechanism to avert the situation.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security James Kabifya Munthali said this at senior group village Headman Uledi headquarters in the area of Chief Nthalire in Chitipa District when he visited Uledi Presidential Initiative on Small Stock Production (Pissp) Goat Group.

Munthali said government was aware of the imminent hunger in many parts of the country, which among other things, he attributed to poor rains and floods.

He said government has mobilised resources and gone full throttle in maize buying spree to bail out food deficient households.

Dr. James Munthali: Minister of Agriculture:Maize crisis

Dr. James Munthali: Diversify crop and food production

“Government has harnessed the entire arsenal to cushion Malawians from starvation,”said Munthali, adding, “At the moment we have gone flat out, procuring maize and other food commodities in the country as well as from our neighbouring countries which have surplus food for sell.”

According to Munthali, once purchased, the maize will be dispatched to Admarc depots where people can access it.

He then encouraged the people to intensify manure making and irrigation farming to boost food production.

He said he was pleased that some farmers are already in irrigation schemes, goat and poultry production,activities which are key in improving household food security and economic status.

Munthali, then underscored the need to diversify crop and food production to avert starvation.

He said, to a larger extent, starvation creeps in the homes due to poor eating habits which value nsima as the only important meal.

“It is high time we also cultivated millet, sorghum, sweet potatoes and cassava and prepare them as full meals,”he said.

According to Munthali, due to reliance on nsima, some food stuffs such as cassava and sweet potatoes are regarded as snacks and are heavily abused.

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