The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has asked the government to speed up the process of identifying where it will buy maize supplies to cushion Malawians from possible hunger effects in the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit the country.
MCCCI president Newton Kambala said it is crucial for the government to be proactive as unofficial crop estimates point to a gloomy harvest.
“The government should immediately start looking at where to source maize. This is a regional problem and we need to act now, so that people in the country are able to access maize in good time,” he said.
Kambala further argued that there are reports that countries like South Africa have already started preparing to purchase extra maize stocks outside the African continent.
“South Africa has identified Brazil as their source of maize. We also need to act fast because the maize markets are very far,” he said.
He also urged the private sector to continue with their support to the people who have been affected by the flood disaster as part of alleviating the problem.
Kambala said with the poor harvest the situation is likely to get worse.
“The private sector should continue assisting in alleviating the current problem while the government on the other hand concentrates that the market has enough maize supply, which is the country’s staple food.
“I urge those who have already made their contributions and those who have not to come forward as the situation is likely to get worse,” said Kambala.
Meanwhile, on the local market, the prices of maize have started going up.
In the Capital city, maize prices have gone up to K7,000 from K5,500 per 50kgs bag while in Blantyre a 50kg bag of maize is now selling at K6,500.
According to one of the traders in Limbe, most traders have taken their maize off the market in anticipation that the prices will go up to K10,000 per 50kg bag of maize.