Minister of agriculture and water development Allan Chiyembekeza has hit out at Malawians for creating the current maize shortage.
Chiyembekeza was speaking in Lilongwe where Japanese Tobacco International’s (JTI) donated assorted food items.
The minister said the maize scarcity which has hit some parts of the country started because Malawians sold their maize to private companies after harvesting in the 2014/2015 season.
He said this is the reason ADMARC does not have enough maize to resale to Malawians.
Chiyembekeza said: “These private companies when they sale maize to the government they are selling it at an expensive price for example buying maize from farmers at K70 per Kilogram and they want to sale to the government at K270 per Kilogram which is expensive.” Chiyembekeza also claimed that some of the challenges Malawi faces are beyond the government’s control.
He then urged Malawians to stop blaming government for every misfortune in the country The minister said the government is doing everything in its power to make sure the country has enough food and this means buying maize from neighbouring countries.
He called upon all well-wishers to help the government in alleviating hunger by donating maize to either the government or individual households.
On his part, JTI Managing Director Fries Vanneste said the relief program will cost JTI approximately US$300,000 which is approximately MK225 million.
“We will provide food relief to 17,000 people across the country, we have seen the severity of the situation and know that almost 3,500 households in the communities where we buy our tobacco, across the country are facing food shortages as a result of this year’s widespread drought,” Vanneste said.