Some senior government officials, including Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Professor Peter Mwanza, have said Malawi has adequate maize stocks to take the country to the next harvest season.
But President Joyce Banda during her relief food distribution programme to needy households repeatedly said about two million Malawians are facing hunger.
Principal Secretary in the Department of Disaster Preparedness Geoffrey Kanyinji in an interview recently said his department got assurance from the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) that there are enough stocks.
Kanyinji said whereas the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) projected that 1.9 million Malawians were facing hunger, the maize stocks in the country are enough to take Malawi to the next harvest season.
He said when the country has enough staple food, it does not follow that everyone has money to access that food.
Kanyinji made the explanation when asked why there are claims that the grain reserves are enough whereas the President declared hunger and is busy distributing relief aid.
Said Kanyinji: “It must also be understood that the maize the President is distributing is from her own resources and well-wishers.”
Mwanza, who was recently quoted on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) as having stated that the country has enough maize to last up to the next harvest in March or thereabout, was optimistic the rains would be good. He asked for a face to face interview with him or other officials in the ministry to enable them interpret the statistics to justify his statement.