Government has pumped K1.3 billion to Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC ) for the purchase of maize and other food commodities from smallholder farmers.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security , James Kawifya Munthali disclosed this when he had an audience with Chitipa Agriculture Development Division staff at Chitipa Rural Development Project (RDP) Offices as part of his familiarization tour of the district since his ascendance to ministerial position, few weeks ago.
Munthali said government has committed the funds, tapped from the National Budget, for procurement of maize and other food stuffs as a strategy of alleviating the looming hunger.
“Most parts of the country registered poor yields this harvesting season due to poor rains. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that it has enough maize stocks in ADMARC depots so that people who have depleted their food stocks can easily access the grain ,” said Munthali.
He said besides offering better maize prices, ADMARC will this time enjoy continuous supply of funds, a development he hoped will see selling points always open.
Chitipa District Commissioner, Michael Chimbalanga said due to lack of viable market for maize last year, unscrupulous traders from Tanzania bought all the maize from Chitipa , in the process ,creating a heavy food deficit in the border district.
Foreign illegal traders were capitalizing on small holders farmers desperation for huge sums of money than anyone can offer, even the giant ADMARC which was displaced from the trade due to delays in opening selling points, coupled by the corporation’s uncompetitive commodity prices.
Said Munthali, “Better prices and consistent supply of funds in ADMARC selling points will attract farmers to sell their maize to Admarc as opposed to illegal traders from Tanzania and elsewhere, where chances of being swindled are high.”
And speaking during a political rally held at Chitipa Market Square, Munthali emphasized that government, under the leadership of president Joyce Banda, will leave no stone unturned in its effort to eradicate socioeconomic woes Malawians are sailing through.
He said government has lined up strategic programs which he said if well implemented will help to pull the people out of poverty shell.