By: Chikondi Magalasi
Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development, Allan Chiyembekeza has faulted Malawians for the current hunger situation that is facing the Country.
Chiyembekeza made these remarks after making a donation of assorted food items in Kachere Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Kalolo in Lilongwe.
The Agriculture Minister said the current food shortage is a man-made problem because many Malawians ignored selling their farm produce to Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) markets last growing season.
He went on to say that farmers opted for Vendors who are now selling the Malawian staple food to the government at a very high price.
“These private companies want to sell the maize back to the government at a very expensive price. For example, they bought maize from farmers at K70 per kilogram but they want government to buy it from them (Vendors) at K270 per kilogram. That is too expensive, ” said Chiyembekeza.
The donation was made by Japanese Tobacco International (JTI). They donated various food items such as Maize, Beans and Cooking oil in their drought relief program.
According to JTI’s Managing Director, Fries Vanneste, the relief program is expected to run for three months. It is worth $300,000 which is about Mk225 million and it will help many people in the area.
Vanneste explained that JTI will provide food relief to about seventeen thousand people. They decided to help because they were aware that over 3500 households are facing starvation. “In many of the areas where we buy our tobacco, people are facing food shortages due to last year’s floods,” said Vanneste.
It is also believed that hunger will continue affecting Malawians in 2015 to 2016 because of rain scarcity in many parts of this country.