Opposition member of parliament on Thursday forced Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development minister Kondwani Nankhumwa to explain how 7 000 tonnes of maize got rotten when the grain was in Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) silos.
Lilongwe city south east MP Ulemu Msungama (MCP) asked Nankhumwa where the maize is kept and how it will be disposed of.
Nankhumwa told the House that the maize was discoloured and declared rotten because it was bought with high moisture content.
He said scientists assessed the maize and declared it “not good for human consumption.”
Nankhumwa said the maize can be processed and be used as livestock feed.
He said the maize is now at Admarc depots at Chilumba, Nkhata Bay, Luchenza, Lilongwe, Golomoti and Malangalanga.
Admarc acting chief executive officer Margaret Roka-Mauwa told Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Climate Change that most of the rotten maize was in their Northern Region depots where people do not buy much maize because it is not their staple food.
She said the maize had been there for the past three years.
“We have about 7 000 tonnes of de-coloured maize in the Northern Region. It is not that the maize was in one place but in various depots, this is so because we have learnt that most people in the North do not depend on maize as a staple food.
“Many eat matoki, cassava flour and rice. So, this affected the buying patterns on maize, making most depots have stock which people didn’t buy.”
United Democratic Front (UDF) legislator for Machinga East legislator Esther Jolobala said it was irking to hear that maize was rotting in Admarc depots when people in her area were dying of hunger.
The cost of the rotten maize is K1.7 billion.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :