President Peter Mutharika says he is considering a request from the country’s grain reserve to lift a ban on maize export so that commercial farmers can export excess maize.
Mutharika broke the stunning news on Monday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during a news conference.
“I know even the minister of Finance (Goodall Gondwe) is surprised but this is true. NFRA (National Food Reserve Agency) says there is excess maize, they are asking me to lift the export ban. No one will die of hunger, Mr Saukira of NFRA has assured me,” said Mutharika.
On Friday, the parliamentary committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources chairman Felix Jumbe enormously backed NFRA move to ask the government lift the maize export.
“The country has enough maize in stock. Private traders have enough maize too so the government should let them export it at a lager profit,” said Jumbe, Salima Central MP and one of the opposition critical voices in parliament on issues of food and agriculture.
Malawi needs 2.5 million metric tonnes of maize per year and Jumbe, opposition Malawi Congress Party spokesperson on agriculture says the country has enough grain in its reserves.
NFRA general manager Nasimuko Saukira said there should be no cause for alarm as the silos have enough maize to feed the nation up to March next year.
Almost 30 tonnes of maize are being transported to each district every day and reports from districts indicate there is enough stocks of maize in Admarc depots across the country.
Mutharika said he is yet to make a decision on the matter.