In its quest to deal with the apparent hunger situation, the Malawi government has chosen to let the 2016/2017 budget give a special focus towards the situation which it has ironically been saying is not existent in Malawi.
According to Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe the budget has been forced to see other departments encounter reductions of allocations because the food shortage situation has left them thinking on what should be done and opted to channel more funds towards concerned the sectors.
On this Gondwe argued that people also need money so that they be able to be able to meet up the cost of living-while despising the idea of importing maize from other countries for sale in Malawi.
”When we bring the food from outside the country, it will be difficult for people to buy. We will have to find ways of getting money to rural areas, for example. The budget will have to be concerned about that” he said.
Gondwe added ”“Unlike in other times when some neighboring countries had food, and we were importing from those countries, now we have the surrounding countries also having food challenges. This means we have to go much further and even outside Africa to import food,”
Parliament opens today.
A report released last year by Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) showed that 3 million Malawians were expected to experience hunger during the current growing season.
Strong El Nino conditions that hit the country resulted in erratic rains and prolonged dry spells that led to severe crop failure, particularly in the southern region and parts of the Central and Northern Region.
On 12th April President Peter Mutharika declared Malawi a state of national disaster saying the dry spells and floods diminished hopes of a bumper harvest at the end of the 2015/2016 growing season.