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Archive for the tag “Food Crisis”

Malawi: Banned entry of Malema and Chishimba, because the DPP fears the TA Conference!

That the Transformation Alliance are planning to become a Political Party seems to stressful for the Republic of Malawi. This can be said, since the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Hon. Grace Obama Chiumia ordered that two foreign speakers to a TA Conference we’re banned from the Republic. This is the Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba and the South African politician Julius Malema. TA must really upset the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the President Peter Mutharika, who is struggling in with the Cash-Gate and the Maize-Scandal, that has run the Republic.

The Malawian ruling party and President Mutharika must fear the possible TA becoming a single political party instead of a political pressure group. Since the pressure group has enough power to get two foreign high-level politicians to its conference. They would question the corruption and the problematic institutions lacking procedures to secure food storage. Just take a look!

BLANTYRE – Transformation Alliance (TA), a political pressure group, has announced that it has invited South African and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and controversial Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba, to its first national conference end of August ahead of the 2019 elections” (…) “Chishimba is a darling to Malawians for being a whistle blower of the controversial maize deal between state grain trader, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, and private company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd” (Kamanga, 2017).

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have threatened to take action to force the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pay back the money it received from councils and parastatals during the blue night fundraising dinner held at Kamuzu Palace. According to reports, DPP solicited money from Blantyre City Council (BCC), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) totalling K13.5 million. Gift Trapence: The reports sparked anger among CSOs who demanded that DPP must pay back the money it got from the institutions” (…) “As Civil Society Organizations we are not going to allow having that impunity and we are warning the ruling party it will return that money come rain come sunshine,” said Trapence. He further urged President Peter Mutharika not to allow party members to be “insulting” the citizenry when they demand answers on issues of national interest” (Bisani, 2017).

Chakwera will join Julius Malema a well -known politician in South Africa, a firebrand agitator who is revered and disliked in equal measure as another speaker will be Zambia’s leader of United Party (UP), Saviour Chishimba and that he has already confirmed his attendance. TA spokesman, Leonard Chimbanga could not confirm or deny about Chakwera attending the conference late alone making a keynote address, but confirmed that the leader of opposition has been invited to attend the conference. “He has been invited since we share similar views on matters of national interests,” he said. Meanwhile, some officials within the alliance have told Nyasa Times that the pressure group is working on turning into a political party ahead of 2019 elections apart from working underground to forge an alliance with other political groupings including Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP)” (Malawi Voice Reporter, 2017).

Clearly, the Malawian government are afraid of the TA. They fear what the opposition pressure group TA can gain from this conference. That is why they have banned the Zambian politician UP Chishimba and South African EFF Malema is barred from entering the country. This proves the problems Malawi government has with it’s opposition. Peace.

Reference:

Bisani, Luke – ‘CSOs threaten demos over blue night donations’ (16.08.2017) link: https://malawi24.com/2017/08/16/csos-threaten-demos-blue-night-donations/

Kamanga, Penelope Paliani – ‘Malawi’s pressure group invites Malema and Zambia’s Chishimba’ (14.08.2017) link: https://southernafrican.news/2017/08/14/malawis-pressure-group-invites-malema-and-zambias-chishimba/

Malawi Voice Reporter – ‘Kunkuyu’s Transformation Alliance Party Teams-Up With MCP Ahead Of 2019 Polls’ (16.08.2017) link: http://www.malawivoice.com/kunkuyus-transformation-alliance-party-teams-up-with-mcp-ahead-of-2019-polls/

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South Sudan: UNICEF sounds alarm on ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity in country (06.08.2016)

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5 August 2016 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today that it is responding to a growing food security emergency causing malnutrition in children in both rural and urban areas of crisis-gripped South Sudan.

“The situation in South Sudan is catastrophic, and even more so for children,” UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told a news briefing in Geneva, where he also pointed out that so far this year, the agency has treated 120,000 children under age five for severe malnutrition; a nearly 50 per cent increase over the same period in 2015.

Initially, UNICEF had been planning to provide support to 166,000 children in 2016, but that figure has been revised to more than 250,000, he added.

Seven out of the country’s 10 states have reached the malnutrition-rate-emergency threshold of 15 per cent, while in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the malnutrition rate stands at 33 per cent, he explained.

UNICEF has also noted a sharp rise in malnutrition in South Sudan’s urban areas, including the capital, Juba, where the rates of children admitted for malnutrition to UNICEF-supported Al-Sabbah children’s hospitals were some 20 per cent higher in the first six months of 2016 than for the same period last year. The spokesperson cited the country’s inflation rate as one of the main reasons for the high increase, explaining that it made basic household staples too expensive for many families.

Mr. Boulierac stated that while UNICEF could not provide figures of children dying from starvation, “one quarter of a million children in South Sudan are facing severe malnutrition.”

According to the spokesperson, with a number of roads inaccessible, the ongoing conflict has further limited UNICEF’s ability to respond – leaving, in the most urgent cases, the more expensive option of air transport for delivering supplies.

Additionally, Mr. Boulierac stressed that “due to insecurity and the rainy season, UNICEF staff in South Sudan are unable to be fully mobile and deliver their goods and services.”

Mr. Boulierac said that of the $154.5 million UNICEF needs for South Sudan in 2016, the Fund had, to date, received only $52 million to assist with water and sanitation; child support services; nutrition; health; and education.

He indicated that more than 900,000 children have been displaced in the country, which – with 1.8 million children, or 51 per cent of school-age youngsters out of school – also had the highest proportion of out-of-school children in the world.

“An estimated 16,000 children had been recruited by armed groups, and there were concerns that the renewed violence would lead to a further expansion of that practice,” explained the spokesperson.

He also called attention to the fact that sexual violence and rape had been used as a weapon of war, saying “all the ingredients were there to be extremely concerned.”

Between 8 and 25 July, at least 72 civilian deaths and 217 cases of sexual violence had been documented in Juba alone.

The spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), William Spindler, added that the total number of South Sudanese refugees in the region stood at 917,418 – most of whom are sheltering in Uganda.

The recent fighting in South Sudan between rival forces – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) loyal to President Salva Kiir and the SPLA in Opposition backing First Vice-President Riek Machar – erupted in and around Juba, on 7 July, close to the fifth anniversary of its independence.

The young country has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between the two leaders erupted into conflict in December 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Begins Unprecedented Emergency Food Relief Operation in Drought-Hit Malawi (20.07.2016)

Maize Malawi

Malawi is one of the countries in southern Africa worst affected by El Niño-related drought.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 20, 2016 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun a new round of life-saving relief operations in Malawi where as many as 6.5 million people – nearly 40 percent of the population – may require emergency assistance in coming months. This is set to become the largest ever emergency food relief operation in the country’s history.

Malawi is one of the countries in southern Africa worst affected by El Niño-related drought. Its food security crisis is not only due to this year’s unprecedented drought but to the impact of severe flooding and prolonged dry spells last year.

Across southern Africa, as many as 18 million people will require emergency assistance in El Niño affected countries between now and March, with needs peaking in January. Of these, WFP is planning to reach 11.9 million people with food assistance. Malawi is one of half a dozen nations in the region which has declared drought-related disasters in recent months.

Malawi’s already strained food security situation is worsening following the most recent harvest which suffered widespread failure, particularly in the south. Some 80 percent of the affected people are smallholder farmers who rely on what they can produce to feed themselves and their families. This is a country with high levels of stunting – low growth for age – as a result of malnutrition, as well as high rates of HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths which have left many orphans and child-headed households.

“This is a dire situation, one that the world needs to take notice of right now before it’s too late”, said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin who today concluded a three-day visit to Malawi. “I’ve talked with women in rural areas who told me they have enough food for just a few more weeks, after which they will have nothing. We must urgently assist the people of Malawi and those affected by the drought in neighbouring countries, before food insecurity spirals into hunger and starvation.”.

WFP concluded its last round of food and cash-based relief in Malawi in April. Seasonal relief for the poorest and most vulnerable is normally offered between January and March at the height of the lean season – that period preceding the harvest during which domestic food stocks become increasingly depleted.

Following floods and drought last year, WFP responded to needs during the last lean season as early as October.  This year, however, emergency relief is starting now – that is because the lean season has already begun in many districts or is soon to start in others. The number of people currently in need in Malawi is two and a half times higher than last year, already a bad year.

For part of her visit, Ms. Cousin travelled with Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States, who has been visiting Malawi as part of a three-nation African tour focusing on economic empowerment and educational opportunities for women and girls, and on partnerships on global health and food security.

Dr. Biden and Ms. Cousin together visited a primary school in Zomba district where students receive WFP school meals which are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. They met farmers whose harvests have suffered badly because of the drought. The WFP Executive Director also met Vice President Saulos Chilima and other government officials.

It’s very important that we save lives in emergency situations.” said Cousin. “But it’s also vital to offer people hope and opportunities so that they’re better able to withstand shocks and cope for themselves in the future. That’s why we’re working with government and other partners including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on programmes like school meals and support for smallholder farmers – these are initiatives that change lives in the long-term.”

WFP’s regional funding requirements for the most drought-affected countries from now until April next year is US$ 535 million; US$217 million of this is required to cover Malawi’s needs alone. There is a particularly urgent need for funding for Malawi to ensure that food stocks can be procured, transported and pre-positioned before seasonal rains start in November, making many roads in remote areas impassable.

Press Statement: Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn (29.06.2016)

South Sudan Food Crisis

More than a third of the population in urgent need of food, agriculture and nutrition assistance amid risk of catastrophe in some parts of the country.

NEW YORK, United States of America, June 29, 2016Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, three UN agencies warned today.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) stressed that while the deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August, the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented.

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) update released today by the government, the three agencies and other humanitarian partners, 4.8 million people are projected to be in need of urgent food, agriculture and nutrition assistance through July, up from 4.3 million in April. This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. This number does not include 350,000 residents of the UN Protection of Civilians areas or other camps for displaced people, who currently are entirely dependent on humanitarian assistance.

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative Serge Tissot.

Food insecurity and conflict are also forcing many families to leave South Sudan for neighbouring countries. In the last few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and this number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June.

“The levels of malnutrition among children continue to be truly alarming,” said Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan. “Since the beginning of the year more than

100,000 children have been treated for severe malnutrition. That’s a 40 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, and a 150 percent increase since 2014.”

Working with a large number of international and local non-governmental organizations, FAO, UNICEF and WFP will continue to deliver life- and livelihood- saving support under these difficult circumstances.

“We are now seeing sharp spikes of need in new areas, such as Eastern Equatoria or Western Bahr el-Ghazal, where malnutrition rates in some places are reaching dangerous levels. We have started ramping up food and nutrition support, but much more is needed to keep things from deteriorating even further during the lean season,” said WFP Country Director Joyce Luma.

In 2016, FAO is planning to provide emergency livelihood support to 3.1 million people in South Sudan. It is currently distributing over half a million crop and fishing kits and is assisting livestock production through the vaccination of some 11 million animals.

The dramatic rise in malnutrition rates, means that in the first four months of the year UNICEF has already treated 45 per cent of its planned 2016 caseload of 166,000 children.

WFP plans to assist  3.3 million people in South Sudan this year through a combination of emergency food assistance, lifesaving nutrition support for mothers and young children, community-based asset-creation projects where possible, and safety net programmes such as school meals.

Press Statement: Malawi – Result of the 2016 Food Security Assessment (10.06.2016)

Malawi June 2016 P1Malawi June 2016 P2

UNHCR and FAO help vulnerable refugees and South Sudanese families strengthen their food security (02.06.2016)

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ROME, Italy, June 2, 2016The UN Refugee Agency and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have distributed seeds and agricultural tools to 200,000 refugees and their host communities across South Sudan to help them become more self-sufficient in a country facing a serious food crisis.

Assessments have shown that the food and nutrition security situation is worrying in many parts of the country, including in Upper Nile – a region hosting four refugee camps and South Sudan’s largest refugee population of 134,000 Sudanese refugees. A nutrition survey, conducted in late 2015, found that Upper Nile’s Maban refugee camps registered higher levels of malnutrition compared to 2014. This was particularly the case in Doro camp, where the rates of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were respectively 15.5 percent and 2.6 percent – above UNHCR standards of 10 percent and 2 percent.

“To quickly respond to high malnutrition rates we are distributing nutritious food for children under five years and all pregnant and breast feeding mothers. We are pleased to announce that these interventions are working well, but we are also looking beyond quick-fix solutions that help refugees become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance in the long run. This is the essence of the UNHCR-FAO partnership,” says Ahmed Warsame, UNHCR Representative.

This year, the two UN agencies have jointly contributed 186 tons of crop seeds, assorted vegetable seeds, hand tools and fishing kits for refugees and local communities in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria. This donation will enable communities to start planting their cereals and replenish their stocks, in so decreasing food shortages.

“People here lack the resources to buy the things they need to start planting and need support to be able to produce their own food. These distributions have been very timely since the planting season has just started,” says Serge Tissot, FAO Representative. “It is vital to strengthen the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in the long-term so that they can become more resilient, absorbing shocks and increasing their access to food through their own means.”

While many have received assistance through direct distributions in the past, in 2016 refugees in Central Equatoria were invited to attend seed fairs for the first time. With this FAO, in partnership with UNHCR, strives to help transform agriculture in South Sudan by facilitating the sale of high quality local seeds instead of imported seeds. At the fair, vulnerable farmers were issued with vouchers to be exchanged with local traders for seeds which directly injected cash into the local economy.

“Without seed distributions we cannot survive. Not all of us are able to maintain seeds for next year, some people do, but because of a lack of food, sometimes we are forced to eat the seeds maintained for planting,” Michelle, Sudanese refugee from Blue Nile State. “We hope for peace so that we can return home, where we can be free,” she added.

FAO and UNHCR are committed towards increasing refugees’ access to livelihood opportunities and reducing dependency on humanitarian aid. Of late, a joint livelihood strategy for South Sudan was launched looking to address this issue with a clearly defined action plan. The strategy targets both refugees (70 percent) and local communities (30 percent) in refugee-hosting areas across the country.

A look into the Maize-shortage in Malawi; As the Government reaction seems slow and reactionary; instead of well prepared; while the hiking of the price and running out at ADMARC storage sounds suspect; Malawian Gov. has questions to answer to their people!

Maize Malawi

This here will be about something simple as Maize, but not any maize as this is staple food. Malawi has had a rocky road when it comes to politics. This here about the agricultural economic structure that is fundamental for socio-economic stability, in an economy where the currency is losing value quickly. The sentiment and the government don’t seem honest in their approach and the opposition is addressing it, but not listen to. That is not something that is a new situation as governments tries to distance themselves from the opposition, but at this point it is a about something key to society as food security to its citizens.

What I don’t seem to understand how the President Mutharika can talk about having a decent economy to buy needed maize, while the economy is stagnating, and the Admarc cannot have given honest numbers of storage as the depleting. While the reports of selling stocks unlawfully and getting the maize prices higher and steady inflation on the price, while at one point promising to buy in Maize due to lack of stock, while the Zambian Authorities saying they have stopped exporting. Then even later telling the people that they are buying from Tanzania instead; that shows that the Government might have used the days between the “Zambian” import to facilitate the Tanzanian buying, while that is direct lying to the public about the general action from the government. The second is saying the government having the money while the funding from it comes from United Kingdom and U.S. to buy the maize. The U.S. gives through the United Nations World Food Program in the country, while the UK gave it more directly to the Malawian government. But before I go to deep, read and see if you get any clarity!

Peter Mutharika-2

Background on the Maize shortage:

The President on the 3rd February:

“Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday failed to clear the mist over the availability of the maize in the country following reports that the country’s sole grain marketer, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is running short supply” (…)”My repeated assurance to you that no one shall die of hunger. Based on the assessed requirements of maize and quantities of maize that we have bought, there should have been enough maize in Admarc depots to cater for everyone’s needs” (…)”Admarc, meanwhile, will continue to replenish the maize stocks. In addition, we have additional money to buy more maize if needed” added Mutharika” (Nkawihe, 2016).

Same day release of the economic situation in Malawi:

“Since May 2012, upon devaluation, the Kwacha has lost value by 338 percent from MK169 against US Dollar as currently the local currency is trading at around MK720 against US Dollar” (…)”In a press statement released over the weekend signed by RBM Governor Charles Chuka which is also available to The Maravi Post, the central bank is optimistic of getting the Kwacha back despite its continue slippage against international foreign exchange” (…)”“Malawians would recall, the exchange rate misalignment was so serious that the country had very limited foreign exchange reserves and accumulated huge external payments arrears (estimated to be in excess of US$600 million) held by both Government and the private sector. This created persistent and wide spread shortages of fuel and other critical imports. Indeed, the exchange rate misalignment diverted foreign exchange transactions to the parallel or black market. Prior to the devaluation the official exchange rate was K169/US$ compared to over K250/US$ in the parallel market” (…)“Kwacha depreciation is hurting low-income earners and is creating undue uncertainty in the business community. It is however misleading to portray a collapse of the economy. Despite the debilitating exogenous shocks, the Kwacha has performed relatively better than in other countries when they also floated their currencies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Malawi continues to pay for its international obligations and foreign exchange reserves have never been better, especially taking in to account the loss of donor direct budget support. Fiscal and monetary policy coordination has been strong despite daunting fiscal pressures”, concludes the central bank statement” (Mb’Wana, 2016).

Chakwera

Days later the opposition question on slashing of the budget:

“The 2015/16 approved budget was initially pegged at K929.7 billion, but is now down to K906 billion with recurrent budget reduced by just over K17.1 billion and the development budget slashed by K5.6 billion” (…)”Leader of Opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera reacting to the revised budget, told Nyasa Times that his party is eagerly waiting to hear from the government why instead of increasing the budget to buy maize for people who are suffering with hunger and medicine from public hospitals they have resorted to cutting the budget at this critical time” (…)”Apart from food crisis, shortage of medicine in public hospitals, Jooma said the budget was expected to rise due to the fall of kwacha as the approved budget of K929.7 billion was done when the kwacha was at K450 to one dollar and currently it is selling at 700 which means in actual sense the budget is all below what was needed and to cut it further it will continue squeeze poor Malawians” (Nkhoma, 2016).

The President on day the after:

“In a national on the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television on Thursday, President Mutharika said it had come to his government’s attention that some officers in ADMARC depots are conniving with vendors to buy and sell maize that has been subsidized” (…)”He also appealed to the police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring to book those who will be guilty of such a malpractice” (APA, 2016).

CSO on the Maize shortage:

“Currently, Government has blamed vendors for the sloppy management at ADMARC which is assuring in a way that Government wants accountability. However, should venders really be part of the blame equation? Isn’t it ADMARC itself that opened its doors at the said odd hours to sell the maize? The Mpherembe ADMARC Depot alleged assault case reported in the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, 16 February 2016 page 8, perfectly reveals the purported rot in ADMARC” (…)”Sourcing of maize from neighboring countries is very important because it will cut on transportation costs. As such, Governmnet must be applauded for this. However, it is also important to highlight that these neighboring countries are equally affected by el nino but yet have surplus to sell to Malawi” (Mkandawire, 2016).

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What Malawi Revenue Authority said to the public on the 11th February 2016:

“Its LEGAL to import maize flour into Malawi BUT it is ILLEGAL to smuggle the commodity. Get an import permit for free from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. You may not even pay duty if you have a COMESA Certificate” (Malawi Revenue Authority, 11.02.2016).

On the 20th February – this happen:

“Government spokesman and Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango claimed there is 60,000 metric tonnes of maize in her grain reserves, enough to feed the nation.” (..)”The delegates booed President Peter Mutharika’s chief adviser on economic affairs Collins Magalasi throughout his contribution as he tried to defend the food situation and authenticate statistics on available maize which he said was enough to feed starving Malawians” (…)“In total we have 50 500 metric tonnes [MT] of maize which has not been released to the people… People have decided to mislead themselves and this is about the maize that we are talking about, this maize is more than what we need,” said Magalasi” (…)”In  his presentation titled ‘Importance of agriculture to development’,  Cisanet’s National Coordinator,  Tamani Nkhono-Mvula  said: “It’s a pity that government is telling us that it has 60 000 metric tonnes of maize in grain reserves but an inside source has informed me that there is only 2000 metric tonnes” (Chilunga, 2016).

Zambia Maize

On the 25th February – Question on the import from Zambia:

“Member of Parliament for Rumphi East who is also opposition People’s Party (PP) third Vice President Kamlepo Kalua has written a letter requesting Malawi President Peter Mutharika to come to Parliament to clarify government claims to have procured maize for Malawians” (…)”He says Zambia has banned exportation of maize to Malawi and Zambia’s Agriculture minister has confirmed the ban” (Auzeni, 2016).

On the 29th Februar – Opposition rally discussing the matter:

“A joint rally in Lilongwe by opposition parties, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Peoples Party and the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) has openly dressed down Malawi President, Peter Mutharika as an ‘irresponsible leader’ who they claim does not care about the country” (…)”Chakwera said: ” We do have issues that show responsibility. Look at the hunger and the economic crisis. It’s a mockery to Malawians that despite scarcity of maize in Admarc depots, persistent power back out , water problems , shortage of medicine in public hospitals, rising prices of good, economic hardship Malawians are facing , Mutharika can boldly stand and say he has no problems” (…) ”We are all feeling the hunger together with the Malawians. Its unfortunate that he (Mutharika) does not see and know theres hunger in the country” said Chihana” (…)”The sentiments were made during the rally at Kalambo School Ground which the parties labeled as a solidarity on Sunday, as led by MCP leader, Lazarous Chakwera PP acting Vice Presdent, Kamlepo Kalua and Aford President Enoch Chihana” (Malawi Times, 29.02.2016).

Malawi Maze shortage ques at Storage depot

On the 29th February the first trucks arriving:

“Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe In Parliament: “Treasury has empowered ADMARC to procure another large consignment of 50,000 metric tons of maize from Tanzania. As we see it, we have and will have enough maize in stock that will be more than enough to satisfy ADMARC markets in the coming days” (…) “On the hunger situation, Gondwe says government has everything under control. “Just yesterday some 44 large trucks full of maize crossed our borders into Malawi” (Malawi Voice, 2016).

“About 70 trucks importing maize that government has bought through Admarc have spent more than two weeks at Mwami border in Zambia waiting for clearance from authorities. However, forty-four trucks carrying 500 metric tons arrived in the country on Friday” (…)”Admarc Chief Executive Officer, Foster Mulumbe, assured the nation that the process of  importing all the 30,000 metric tonnes of maize would take two weeks.“This was actually planned, well in advance by government. When you look at the tonnage that is coming, it’s 30,000 metric tonnes. That’s not the tonnage we need currently. We have actually started stockpiling for the coming season. If we are talking about what parliament is saying, they have made their assertion barely 12 hours ago we wouldn’t have been able go through the whole process and have the maize start arriving in Malawi now,” Mulumbe said” (McDonald, 2016).

On the 3rd March – Statement by CAMA:

“In a statement signed by its Executive Director John Kapito, Cama said government does not need to spend forex on importation of maize when there is already enough maize in the country” (…)“Cama is shocked that the Malawi government is importing maize at a time when we all know that there is a lot of maize in the country which is being held by private traders in various warehouses throughout the country” (…) “What is more annoying is that the private traders are hoarding the maize and demanding higher prices that range from K300 to K350 per kilogramme when they purchased such maize from poor Malawians at K60 per kilogramme. And we are aware that the private traders are intending to export the maize to satisfy their greed at a time when Malawians are dying of hunger,” Kapito said” (…)”Government announced that it would purchase 30,000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia to avert the current food crisis”(Chitsulo, 2016).

29.02.2016 Newspaper Malawi

On the 3rd March – Statement from President Mutharika:

“I publicly appealed to our Development Partners to help us with additional food and other resources so that we can supplement our own local maize supplies to fight the pending hunger. The aim was to ensure that we should cover everyone who would need food support. I want to thank those friends who came forward and helped us, such as the WFP and others” (…)”Most sadly, I have been told that there is critical shortage of maize at many ADMARC depots. I am further informed that some ADMARC officials are conniving together with some criminal maize vendors, who buy ADMARC maize at night and sell it to poor Malawians elsewhere at very exorbitant prices. In some places poor Malawians are forced to buy this maize at Fifteen Thousand kwacha per 50kg bag, because they cannot find maize at ADMARC. Consequently some of them are now starving” (…)”I also want to appeal to all decent Malawians to examine their moral conscience and reflect deeply. I have repeatedly talked about patriotism, hard work and integrity. Because of hard work and careful planning, my government bought this maize through ADMARC at much higher costs for you to buy only at Five Thousand Five Hundred Kwacha (MK5,500) per 50kg. In effect, these thieves are therefore stealing this maize from you” (Mana Online – Malawi News Agency, 03.03.2016).

Reports today on 4.3.2016:

Production:

“Talks are in progress between the treasury and two major agro-processing companies to seal an agreement for maize production in Malawi” (Capital FM Malawi, 04.03.2016).

Import:

“While commending government for suspending import license requirements on importation of maize flour, traders in the industry are still calling on government to introduce a duty waiver on the commodity” (The Daily Times Malawi, 04.03.2016).

Admarc logo

Here is the continuation on the matter:

One Voice:

“Bill Mayaya, one of the organisers of the peaceful march said it a Republican Constitutional right for all the Malawians, regardless of their standing in society to have access to food. “We want to show the government that we are not satisfied with their explanations. People will continue dying of hunger and hunger related diseases” he said” (Khamula, 2016).

Second Voice:

“Bishop for Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church Martin Mtumbuka has said the church is disappointed and concerned with the way many Malawians are suffering because they do not have food and has since called on government which claims to have maize to make it available to the people” (…) “I think that government of Malawi pays people who have solutions to that. So, I do not want to be doing their job by suggesting what they should be doing. All I would like to stress is we were told there is maize, let the maize be made available to the people. And we would also want to say may be the best way is also to stop blaming each other. I don’t want to enter into blame game but the key issue is that people should have the maize,” he said” (Mmana, 2016).

Third Voice:

“The Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) has asked government to order private traders to release maize to the public and break the vicious cycle of hoarding the grain for anticipated inflated prices” (…)”Kapito claimed in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on Tuesday that private traders are hoarding the maize and demanding higher prices that range from K300 to K350 per kilogram, when they purchased such maize from poor Malawians at K60 per kilogram” (…)”Government must order all traders that are hoarding the maize to release it onto the market immediately. Government must recommend the selling price for such maize, knowing fully that it had recommended the buying price of maize from the farmers after harvest” says the statement (…)”The survey was carried out on January 30. 2016. “Most Agro Traders have the commodity but are not willing sale to Admarc or Government due to the fluctuation and instability of the local currency” reads the report in part” (…)”In terms of tonnage – as of January 30 – Pride Produce had 9,000 tonnes; Export Trading 89,000 tonnes, K U Distributors 70,000 tonnes while Trans-Globe had 40,000 tonnes of Maize” (Simutowe, 2016).

fertiliser-subsidy-reforms-and-maize-in-malawi-4-638

How the Government can afford to import maize:

The United States yesterday gave Malawi $27 million (K20 billion) in response to the food shortage that has affected about 2.8 million Malawians. The development brings America’s total contribution to humanitarian response to $ 55 million (about K41 billion) which represents about 44 percent of the K 92.7 billion the country needed to provide monthly food or cash ration to startling population between October last year and April 2016” (Mkandawire, 2016).

How the Government can afford to import maize Part II:

“The UK’s Department for International Development announced today that it is stepping up its humanitarian support to the southern African country, which with today’s announcement will total £14.5m since October 2015” (…)”International development minister Nick Hurd said providing support is not only “hugely important to African people” but also in the UK’s national interest” (…)”The announcement came as the World Food Programme appealed for $38m as the situation in Malawi worsens and the UN agency’s funds wane” (Rumney, 2016).

Zambian export of maize too Malawi saga:

“ZAMBIA suspended maize exports to Zimbabwe and Malawi last week to help build reserves in light of a looming El Nino-induced drought, local grain importers confirmed last Friday” (…)”The suspension has affected Zimbabwe and Malawi local grain importers who are now battling to import in about 150 000 tonnes of maize”(Afriem, 2016).

“Malawi has procured an additional 10,000 metric tonnes of maize grain from neighbouring Zambia that will be distributed to various Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) depots in the country to feed people up to April.Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister Allan Chiyembekeza told journalists in the capital Lilongwe on Tuesday” (APA, 2016).

admarck Llongwe

Afterthought:

As you see with certainty and certainly more to this story than what has been released and happen behind closed doors; I wonder also about how the storage components got empty and that the Admarc can’t control the amount of maize. That is what is worrying and the authorities can’t have a open trade with investors and companies who keeps maize already in storage, as the 30th January reports showed. The issue is that the Government of Malawi has told certain things and Government of Zambia told another, therefore ended up importing from Tanzania and not Zambia, as the time went by and still did not discuss the trade between the companies storing the local produced maize. That was bugs me as seeing the pictures of ques to Admarc storages to get little maize to themselves.

The questioning of the response from the Government and the ability to fulfil the necessary food security in the country; that is justified to ask as the President Mutharika defends and claim that Admarc stealing maize flour and selling it. That might be true to some extent, but still they could not take the whole amount of tonnes over night without any questions. Then if so, wouldn’t the government get reports and receipts, or some paperwork. That explains why the deliverance and due diligence on the work the government outfit has done. So if they stole the whole thing and was baffled thieving. Then the Government should arrest certain king-pens in the system and address the loss to get back the earned silver-coins by the thieves. Since that is not happening and the trades of the maize is rising, the prices spiking while the farmers getting less of a price from the government buying scheme. This shows some industry insiders earning on the spiked prices and getting extra cash for the same product as before the issue of struggling storage of maize flour in the country.

But the government claims at one point to have the cash be able to buy more if needed. While they really need donor funding to do so and get the UK and U.S. to drop their tax money and sending maize to Malawi. While the economy looks bleak by what the already reports is showing. This here is showing some arrogance from the government when they now the numbers and the reports of the storage. As the where are arrogant while they had to know the Zambian governments actions on their behalf. That is so hoping that people who are in a dire situation and hope that nobody is questioning it. Well, I hope they do and also get the government to answer for this as they have been left short by the shortage of the maize and the dwindling economy. Two aspects that is well fitted together and shows certain mismanagement from central government down to the citizens; and it is the citizens that pays the huge price and also the higher price of the maize flour as a cost of the actions that has happen recently. Peace.

Reference:

Afriem – ‘ZAMBIA SUSPENDS MAIZE EXPORTS TO ZIM AND MALAWI, NO MAIZE SOLD TO MALAWI’ (16.02.2016) link: http://www.afriem.org/2016/02/zambia-suspends-maize-exports-to-zim-and-malawi-no-maize-sold-to-malawi/

APA – ‘Subsidized maize not for sale, Mutharika warns Malawi dealers’ (04.02.2016) link: http://en.starafrica.com/news/subsidized-maize-not-for-sale-mutharika-warns-malawi-dealers.html

APA – ‘Malawi procures additional maize from Zambia’ (17.02.2016) link: http://en.starafrica.com/news/malawi-procures-additional-maize-from-zambia.html

Auzeni, PA Anzanu – ‘KAMLEPO PENS MUTHARIKA TO APPEAR BEFORE PARLIAMENT’ (25.02.2016) link: http://www.faceofmalawi.com/2016/02/kamlepo-pens-mutharika-to-appear-before-parliament/

Chilunga, Zawadi – ‘DPP ‘IN DENIAL’ SAYS KABWILA: MAGALASI BOOED AT ‘FUTURE OF MALAWI’ PAC CONFERENCE’ (20.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/20/dpp-in-denial-says-kabwila-magalasi-booed-at-future-of-malawi-pac-conference/

Chitsulo, Moses – ‘Cama wants government to act on maize traders’ (03.03.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/cama-wants-government-to-act-on-maize-traders/

Khamula, Owen – ‘Malawi Protests over food shortage, economic woes March 10’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/03/02/malawi-protests-over-food-shortage-economic-woes-march-10/comment-page-1/

Malawi Voice – ‘Treasury Empowers Admarc To Procure 50,000 Metric Tons Of Maize From Tanzania’ (26.02.2016) link: http://malawivoice.com/treasury-empowers-admarc-to-procure-50000-metric-tons-of-maize-from-tanzania/

Mb’Wana, Lloyd – ‘RESERVE BANK ASSURES MALAWI’S KWACHA STABILIZATION AMID PRICES OF GOODS AND SERVICES SOURING’ (03.02.2016) link: http://www.maravipost.com/business/economy/10387-reserve-bank-assures-malawi%E2%80%99s-kwacha-stabilization-amid-prices-of-goods-and-services-souring.html

McDonald Thom – ‘44 maize trucks arrive in Malawi’ (29.02.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/44-maize-trucks-arrive-in-malawi/

Mkandawire, Lucky – ‘US Give Malawi K20bn to buy maize’ (01.03.2016) link: http://mwnation.com/us-gives-malawi-k20bn-to-buy-maize/

Mkandawire, MacBain – ‘Maize shortage and the prevailing economic situation’ (19.02.2016) link: http://www.congoma.mw/2016/02/19/maize-shortage-and-the-prevailing-economic-situation/

Mmana, Deogratias – ‘GIVE MALAWIANS MAIZE—BISHOP MTUMBUKA’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.times.mw/give-malawians-maize-bishop-mtumbuka/

Nkawihe, Maurice – ‘Mutharika admits Malawi citizens starving: Fails to clear air on maize security’ (04.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/04/mutharika-admits-malawi-citizens-starving-fails-to-clear-air-on-maize-scarcity/

Nkhoma, Mphatso – ‘MALAWI OPPOSITION SCEPTICAL WITH REVISED BUDGET’ (27.02.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/02/27/malawi-opposition-sceptical-with-revised-budget/

Rumney, Emma – ‘DFID increases food aid to Malawi’ (17.02.2016) link: http://www.publicfinanceinternational.org/news/2016/02/dfid-increases-food-aid-malawi

Simutowe, Yamikani – ‘Kapito says private traders should release maize: Asks Malawi government to issue order’ (02.03.2016) link: http://www.nyasatimes.com/2016/03/02/kapito-says-private-traders-should-release-maize-asks-malawi-government-to-issue-order/

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