Private agro-produce traders have described the ban Kasungu District Council has imposed on sale of maize to vendors as illegal and a threat to the country’s socio-economic development.
A full council meeting at the district council on May 14 2016 resolved to ban smallholder traders from buying maize to save the harvest for the looming lean period.
Council chairperson Greeny Kacherenga, who is also councillor for Chibophi Ward, said an assessment carried out by the district agriculture officers had indicated that over 80 percent of the population in the district will face hunger owing to poor harvests that resulted from dry spells.
He said most vendors do not stock the maize they buy for resale to hungry farmers, hence the need for the ban.
“The ban remains effective until such a time when we shall have finished a thorough assessment of the availability of maize at household level,” he said in an earlier interview.
However, Bowe Farmers Association president Zaina Kapachika described the ban as illegal, saying it contradicts the market liberalisation policy.
Patrick Mwandira of Chavunguma Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chulu in the district said banning Bowe Farmers Association from buying maize will worsen the hunger situation in the area as communities around Bowe and Mphomwe rely on the association for food during lean periods. n