Malawi Maize Reserves Depleted Pointing Too Food Crisis

23 January 2020

Malawi's grain reserves are running dangerously low with stocks in the maize silos, the Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR,) stood at a meagre 14000 metric tonnes out of the recommended 217000 metric tonnes needed to feed the nation, pointing to an imminent food crisis.

National silos depleted

National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Nasimuko Saukira said traders are not interested to sell maize to the grain reserves due to lower prices.

"Parliament approved K10 billion for the purchase of maize but we have only used K1 billion because traders are not interested to sell maize to us because of the low prices," he said.

A member of the Budget and Finance Committee of parliament Cornelius Mwalwanda said this was cause for alarm and asked the government to rectify the situation before people start dying of hunger.

The poor levels of maize stocks in the SGR mean that Government will not be able to control maize prices during lean periods.

The imminent maize shortage and its associated high prices may induce a rise in inflation--measure by the consumer price index (CPI)--of which 50.2 percent is the food basket.

The consequent rising inflation rate may see the Reserve Bank of Malawi maintaining its tight monetary policy, including triggering raising interest rates.

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