Malawi’s produce trader Admarc has started selling maize from the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR), which is said to have gone bad after being soaked by rain water.
Buyers at both Kawale and Lilongwe Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) depots revealed that the rotten maize started being sold on Friday.
Some of the buyers said although the maize looks discoloured after being pounded and washed, the flour is white and the taste is normal.
However, both Admarc chief executive officer Jerry Jana and National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) chief executive officer Nasimuko Saukira, whose agency manages the SGR, feigned ignorance of the development.
But physical checks at Lilongwe Admarc Depot along Paul Kagame Road and Kawale confirmed the developments.
Jana in an interview said he was not aware of the development.
On the other hand, Saukira said: “I think I can’t answer that one because I was away. However, there could have been a lapse because it is a long weekend. I have to check what is going on.”
The fears of the rotten maize were confirmed last week when Vice-President Khumbo Kachali visited the SGR silos in Kanengo, Lilongwe.
A recent assessment report of the grain reserves across the country done by donors led by the USaid revealed that almost 4 821 metric tonnes of maize was not in good condition 2 910.96 metric tonnes was characterised as dust and chaff, 410.5 metric tons having high aflatoxin levels and almost 1 500 metric tonnes was found to be no longer of use as it has been in silos for too long or has been too dry for consumption.