Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) has been told to cancel plans to sell 100,000 metric tonnes of maize worth US$22 million (over K22 billion) to Zimbabwe.
ADMARC signed a deal to sell maize Grain Milers Association of Zimbabwe. Under the deal, the Zimbabwean association would have been collecting thirty three thousand metric tonnes of maize per month until July next year.
ADMARC chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi justified the move to sell maize, saying ADMARC pays K300 million per month to store and fumigate maize. He added that the state owned company needed money to pay back loans and pay its employees.
Speaking when they appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture yesterday, ADMARC management members led by Acting Admarc General Manager Jerome Nkhoma said they were not aware of the board’s plans to sell maize and only knew that ADMARC has 46,000 metric tonnes but the rest of the maize it keeps belong to Banks.
Chairperson of the parliamentary committee Sameer Suleman advised the state entity to put on hold the plans to sell maize saying there is need to first make sure that the country has enough maize.
He also expressed fear that Malawi may not produce enough maize during the coming growing season due to a rise in fertilizer prices hence the need to keep the maize that the country already has.
His concerns have been shared by Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa who has argued, in a letter to President Lazarus Chakwera, that the country should not be selling its maize at a time when the yield is expected to be low.
Nankhumwa has urged Chakwera to stop ADMARC from going ahead with deal because doing so would be putting the lives of many Malawians in danger.
He added that he will have no choice but to seek legal redress on behalf of the people of Malawi should this sale of maize go ahead.