Local leaders in Rumphi have questioned an initiative where Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) markets are limiting individuals to buy five kilogrammes (kg) of maize in the district.
Speaking at an interface meeting on Thursday, Bolero area development committee (ADC) chairperson Joseph Chirwa said the initiative is compounding hunger in his area because it takes two weeks for another maize consignment to arrive at the markets.
“Usually, our Admarc receives between 50 and 100 bags of maize to support 18 village development committees. Officials force us to buy between five and 10 kilogrammes yet it takes two weeks for the maize to come again.
“Our question is ‘why is Admarc stocking little maize when government says it has enough food to feed us during this lean period?’ We beg government to at least increase the [limit] because five kg is not enough for our families,“ said Chirwa.
The meeting was organised by Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) in conjunction with the Catholic Development Commission of Malawi (Cadecom) for locals to interface with the leadership of the district on their rights to food.
Assistant district agriculture development officer (Dado) Abraham Mhlanga confirmed that the district is rationing maize because the limited grain available should feed people for a longer period.
“In view of that, we ask people not to depend on maize alone. That is why we donated tubers for people to grow in areas worst hit by hunger,” he said.
Rumphi’s director of planning and development Frank Mkandawire said the district does not have enough maize because farmers prefer to sell maize to vendors. n