Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chief whip Simon Vuwa Kaunda has said many Malawians do not have food as they have no farmland as such, government should reduce the price of maize by half so that every household can afford the staple.
Vuwa Kaunda was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday in reaction to Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu’s earlier announcement that government has lifted an export ban on maize.
He cautioned government against exporting surplus maize, saying there is no assurance of a bumper yield in the next harvest.
DPP’s chief whip said government invested a lot in Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) and there is need to ensure that the output benefits the country and not exporting the grain to feed other countries .
He said: “government should reduce the price of maize rather than exporting it. Let us make the maize accessible those that cannot afford.”
The DPP chief whip said lessons from past experience show that some people were buying maize from farmers and kept it in warehouses to be exported while the country as facing food insecurity.
However, the Finance Minister justified the lifting of the maize export ban, saying Admarc will buy enough maize from farmers to ensure that the country is food secure.
“Farmers will only keep maize for consumption,” he said.
Mlusu stressed that governmentwill ensure there is accountability for any exports that are done, saying “systems have been put in place” to monitor the exports to ensure that the money comes back to Malawi.