Opposition ask govt to slash maize prices: Malawians caught in jaws of hunger

Opposition political parties in Malawi parliament have asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government to reduce the selling price of maize to enable poor Malawians manage to buy the commodity.

Chakwera: Cut maize prices, many Malawians are caught in jaws of hunger

Chakwera: Cut maize prices, many Malawians are caught in jaws of hunger

The calls come as the country suffers with soaring inflation, rising poverty and a crumbling economy.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition in the national assembly and People’s Party (PP) acting president and leader of the party in the house Uladi Mussa made the calls in reaction to the ministerial statement on the food situation in the country from minister of Agriculture and Irrigation George Chaponda in parliament on Monday.

Chakwera asked the minister that the price of maize which is being sold at K250 per Kilogram making it the bag at MK12, 500 at ADMARC will not be easy for a poor Malawian to buy it considering with the current economic turmoil.

He said the price of many basic foodstuffs, including maize, are not affordable by Malawians due to the spiralling cost of living.

In his remarks, PP leader, Uladi Mussa asked the minister to confirm to the house and the nation that indeed it’s the cabinet who endorsed the current higher price of maize at ADMARC, saying from his experience it’s the cabinet that sanctions the ADMARC maize price.

Mussa, who once served as Agriculture Minister in the Bingu wa Mutharika regime,  described  the current maize prices as inhuman and aimed at punishing already suffering Malawians.

He then proposed to the government that they must reduce the price of the maize in order for the poor Malawians to manage to buy the commodity.

But in his response, Chaponda made it open that it’s impossible to reduce the price of the maize, saying the current price is already on a lower side as the original price was supposed to be MK312 per Kg and that government is subsidising as they cut it with MK62.

Chaponda told the house that apart from that the price is already subsidised, the country risk to lose IMF programs if it reduces further the price as it will have an impact to the economy of the country.

This irked both opposition and independent members of the parliament who questioned the seriousness of DPP government to be afraid of losing IMF programs instead of being afraid of losing life of Malawians whom they are serving.

PP spokesperson on finance, Ralph Jooma, said:“How can you say you could not subsidise maize because you fear the loss of a programme not a life?”

Recently, Secretary to the Treasury Ronald Mangani said 39 percent of the country’s population will not meet their annual food requirements during the 2016/17 consumption period.

Chaponda told Parliament that government had laid out a plan to import about one million metric tonnes of maize to be done by both Admarc and the National Food Reserve Agency.

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11 thoughts on “Opposition ask govt to slash maize prices: Malawians caught in jaws of hunger”

  1. The problem with our parties in Malawi is that they are not build on ideologies. The opposition opposes everything when its in the opposition and the DPP would do the same in opposition. Maize prices are okay. Let maize sell at the market price not a subsidized price. In the long run if there is no intervention in Maize prices, there might be Maize availability because private traders will confidently take maize as a commercial plant. And in the long run the price will go down…u want the reason? study economics at a credited institution

  2. Banda says:

    With the African Development Bank just announcing that it will be providing a grant not a loan to the Government for k12.2 billion to by maize to assist poor Malawians,
    Will this money reduce Admarc prices, buy maize to store in the reserves or go into general government funds or just shared with cabinet.

    So many grants from many donors yet admarc is selling at 250kg,

    With so much maize available prices will fall because people are only buying small quantities

  3. sabata says:

    Thats the stupidity of getting loans from World Bank and IMF and then steal it with your homeboys. Those banks are there to make profits and don’t care whether other people will die.

  4. Zoona zake says:

    I don’t agree to reduce the prices because the traders will go and buy all the maize and sell at higher prices. It’s better to struggle to get money to buy at K250/kg other than letting vendors/traders/opposition parties buy the maize at cheaper price and hide it to create hunger and later sell the same maize at a higher Price

    1. Gomezga says:

      I like this extreme foolishness.

  5. Banda says:

    What confuses me is where did all the donor money from USA, Japan, China, Germany and others go to buy maize if the Admarc is selling at cost. Yes the WFP will be distributing their own maize directly to select Malawians but what about others with no WFP support.

    If only the poor buy from Admarc but the government is not subsidising maize and expects to recoup all of the money invested. Government waited to long and should have acted December 2010 or even March 2016 when prices were much lower now people will suffer because of short sighted incompinate government
    The president and cabinet should stand in line at admarc, but no they receive allowances and food is prepared and catered to them.
    May they wake up and see the suffering and increased crime as a result high maize prices

  6. Jacqueline says:

    This current DPP led government has lost track, how can it consider much about IMF yet the people they are serving are starving?? This totally shows how careless the govt is! I mean between the trader and the govt who is supposed to charge more in terms of prices?? Kumbukirani muli pamenepo chifukwa cha ife and not IMF…(Mwambi wa lero….Ukakwera pa msana wa njovu usamati kunja kulibe mame)

  7. jimmy mapira says:

    ndy inuyo osusani ndi olemela enanu mwagula matani angati and muzigulitsa pa ntengo wanji? nsogoleli wanzeru amaonetsa chisanzo. ino ndi thawi yabwino yoti muonetse zisanzo zabwino, ziko ndilathu ili titha kulikonza zikoli pamodzi.

    1. Makwasa boy says:

      That’s shallow thinking, kodi misonkho yathu imapita kwa osusa (opposition)? Abomawo ngati anatenga loan, adzabweza ndi ndalama za misonkho yathu. Anthu akuzuzika ngati sali m’dziko lawo, zachisoni……..

  8. Chambe says:

    Yes the price looks so high for affordability but people can only afford not the whole bag but portions of kgs of what they would want to buy that day suiting their pockets. This will lead to long queues and high volumes of activities at ADMARC. One wonders if Govt. has considered this effect.
    I also wonder why prices are set when in actual fact a greater portion of the money that the government is using to buy this maize is through 100% aid. I thought they should have included all costs to arrive at total mark up through the same aid. I thought in this way, then the price per bag could have been very low although this could result in low supply against high demand.

  9. MABUSA says:

    K62.00 per kg is the normal and reasonable for our poor brethren Malawians maize selling price not the K250.00.

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