Malawi maize stocks falling short: ‘No one will die of hunger,’ minister Nankhumwa assures Parliament

Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has conceded that the maize storage facilities does not have enough stocks,  falling short with about 197,000 metric tones of the recommended minimum stocks.

Nankhumwa: Traders hoarding maize  with an objective of making abnormal profits at the expense of fellow Malawians.

Nankhumwa said this when he was presenting the ministerial statement on the national food security situation in Parliament on Friday.

He said the replenishment of Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) continues to face enormous hurdles ranging from traders hoarding stocks to unnecessary bargaining of prices to make abnormal profits.

SGR) guidelines recommend that the SGR size be maintained at 217,000 metric tonnes, which comprises 95,000 metric tonnes buffer stock, 8,000 metric tonnes emergency stock, 76,000 metric tonnes safety net stock for non-emergency response and 38,000 MT stabilization stock.
Nankhumwa said as of 10th February, 2020, the official maize stocks held by government institutions (National Food Reserve Agenccy and ADMARC) is estimated at about 19,992 metric tonnes of maize.
Of this tonnage, NFRA available stocks stand at 10,740 metric tonnes with Lilongwe silos holding 8,975 metric tonnes and the rest held at Kazomba in Mzimba district.
ADMARC stocks stand at 9,252 metric tonnes regionally distributed as follows: the South has 565 metric tonnes, the Centre has 6,651 metric tonnes while the North holds 2,036 metric tonnes.
“Madam Speaker, Honourable members, if we combine official government stocks held by NFRA and ADMARC and those held by the private sector, our current national stocks stand at 74,992 metric tonnes.
“Madam Speaker, from the current official stocks I have reported above, it implies that the reserves fall short with about 197,000 metric tonnes of the recommended minimum stocks, ” said Nankhumwa.
“Madam Speaker, from the current official stocks I have reported above, it implies that the reserves fall short with about 197,000 metric tonnes of the recommended minimum stocks, ” said Nankhumwa.
He further said his ministry was given K10 billion in the current budget for the procurement of maize to replenish the SGR and NFRA had some funds amounting K2 billion from the 2018/19 financial year which were meant for procurement of maize between March and June 2019, but procurement faced pricing related challenges.
According to him,  these funds combined would have bought an estimated 48,000 metric tonnes at K250 per kilogram.

Nankhumwa said government is committed to responding to the food insecure areas through ensuring that affordable maize is distributed through relief programmes as well as through ADMARC for those economically stable and that can afford maize.

“I have also been assured by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development that resources will be made available to support the planned interventions”, he said.

According to Nankhumwa, government has further put in place mechanisms to ensure medium term food security, including procuring 18,000 metric tonnes of maize flour through two commodity exchange platforms and Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM) for humanitarian response.

He urged parliamentarians, co-operating partners, non-governmental organizations and well-wishers to work together and support government in addressing the food insecurity problem. 

Nankhumwa, who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament, noted that the national food balance sheet as at April 1, 2019, shows that the country had a cereal surplus of about 338,630 metric tonnes of which about 84,000 metric tonnes was maize. This is after accounting for food use, seed requirement, minimum Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) replenishment and feed and industrial requirements in the food balance sheet, he said.

“It is important that this August House should take note that the reported maize surplus is not stock under the wraps of government. Instead, it is the national surplus held by different stakeholders.“

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) first assessment reported that 1.1 million people were food insecure. The figure was revised to 1.9 million people in the second assessment done in November 2019..

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3 years ago

stop preaching than just taking the action

3 years ago

joji malemya heyi dont pose here ngati cimangaco ndi mu nkhokwe mwako olo kuti ndalama ndi za muthumba mwake hence our own tax money. all bullshit stop the nonsense.
let people live okhyyyyy

Njegame Syaosimo
Njegame Syaosimo
3 years ago

Mzanu Bushiri akufuna kuthandiza but you are blockng him thinking that he is gona be more popular than you. Withdrawing security personnel so that he faces hardships. Anthu oipa mtima ngati goalkeeper inu!

Max campre
3 years ago

Iwe galu kwabasi mene anthu akuvutikila ndi Njara dziko muno iwe kumalankhula mopusa choncho

3 years ago

People are already dying of hunger man. Mwatani kodi

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