Paper says ‘embarrasing’ that 3.3 million people food insecure as Malawi maize output down

Malawi’s leading daily newspaper has  passed its verding that  food insecurity report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) is “embarrasing” following  decreased production of the country’s staple food, maize by 24.5 percent.

A hunger-hit community in Malawi waits for an opportunity to register for food rations-Photo credit Word Vision Malawi

The decreased food production is attributed  to damage caused by drought , crop-eating armyworms and  reduction in hectrage due to price  disincentives.

The MVAC comprised of government and aid agencies, said in the report that maize production fell to 2.698 million tonnes from 3.464 million tonnes in the 2016/17 farming season.

Ethel Mwalughali, a government representative on MVAC said the dry spells mostly in the southern part of Malawi and some districts in the central region affected most key crops, including rice production.

MVAC said the drop in maize production had led to food insecurity for 3.3 million people, who would require 138,488 tonnes of food aid.

In an editorial comment in The Nation on Tuesday, the newspaper pointed out that the undesirable situation comes against the background that  this year alone Malawi government spent about K46 billion for the Fram Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp)  that seeks to boost food  production among poor hoseholds.

It noted that  1.5 million households benefitted from the programme this year from 900 0000 families the previous two years.

“The programme has been running for many years. This is embarrassing  for a country that has been independent for 54 years, with arable land and huge bodies of water to improve irrigation programmes,” reads th comment in part.

The food insecurity, according to the paper, is enough proof that Fisp is a flop largely because the programme is politicised and mostly benefits suppliers, particulary those who are politically connected.

The paper  said the relief maize that will be distributed should go only  to areas which are food insecure and not to areas where there is no hunger for political reasons.

Malawi relies heavily on rain-fed agriculture, and most of its maize is grown on small plots by subsistence farmers.

But the daily  said there is also need to reduce  overdependence on rain-fed farming.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

The people of Malawi were told by the government/the president that the country has enough maize to the extent that the ban on exports was lifted. a few months after it was imposed. Now a preliminary report is talking of possible food shortages months before the next harvest season. This is obvious that there are men and women in high places who shouldn’t be in their jobs. How can they get it so wrong. Food security shouldn’t be a political football….this is a matter of life and death.

3 years ago

It can’t be embarrassing because it is not government’s fault nor our fault as a people.

Malo A Maloto
Malo A Maloto
3 years ago

Embarrassing . . . ? Shocking! Scandalous! And a Damning Indictment of Government Ineptitude!

Read previous post:
‘I want a better Malawi:’ Manice Hale accused of insulting President returns to US after State drops case

Manes Winnie Chitedze Hale, a naturalised United States of America (USA) citizen, arrested last week Tuesday at Kamuzu International Airport...