Malawi upbeat dry spells, armyworms will have few effects

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At the heart of a worrisome dry spell and armyworms which have posed fears of a food shortage situation this farming season, Malawi government says the threat of hunger is not imminent.

This has been argued by Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe when he presented the 2017-18 midterm budget review in Parliament today.

Malawi maize

A maize field affected by army worms in Dedza

According to Gondwe, while the situations are a blow to Malawi, their effects will not be as quick as others have projected in the unending fears of a hunger situation.

“All that could be said now is that food shortages will occur in a number of areas in Malawi and that we should prepare measures to mitigate this likely food disaster,” said Gondwe.

The Minister revealed that government has to this effect set aside funds to purchase an addition 200,000 metric tons of maize in a bid to enable the Admarc and National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to start purchasing available maize and costs for transporting the maize nationwide.

According to Gondwe, the K45.2 billion government used to bail out ADMARC by repaying the parastatal’s loans to commercial banks means ADMARC is indebted to government.

The parastatal will repay part of that money by supplying 90,000 tons of maize to government.

Analysts have recently been indicating probable fears of an unprecedented food shortage situation owing to incessant attack on maize – Malawi’s main staple food – by pests.

The situation has also been faced with a dry spell leading to stunted growth of maize.

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