Govt cancels maize export licences

Malawi maize

Malawi government has revoked all permits that allow traders to export maize and maize products.

This follows the ban on maize export which was effected on February 5, 2018.

According to a statement signed by secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Ken Ndala and secretary for Ministry of Agriculture Gray Phiri, government has banned maize export to ensure food security in the country.

Malawi maize
A maize field affected by army worms in Dedza

“The suspension has been enforced to ensure food security in the country in view of the prevailing dry spells and fall armyworms damage to the maize crop this season,” says the statement.

It adds that the two ministries will be monitoring the status of crops in the country and will advise traders when the export ban is removed.

In the 2017/18 growing season, Malawi has been hit by fall armyworms and dry spells which have wiped out over 350,000 hectares of crops with close to 1 million farmers being affected.

Last year government also banned the export of maize due to low crop yields and hunger that hit the country.

When crop yields improved after the 2016/2017 agricultural season, there were calls to remove the ban but government argued that it had to first store maize before exportation could be allowed.

That ban was lifted in October by President Peter Mutharika


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