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Malawi opposition seeks to block US$22m sale of maize to Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
10 Jun 2022 at 08:05hrs | Views
LEADER of the opposition in Malawi's Parliament Kondwani Nankumwa has written to that country's president, Lazarus Chakwera, urging him to intervene and stop the sale of maize to neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Malawi's Agriculture Development Corporation (ADMARC) has since agreed a US$22m deal to sell 100,000 tonnes of white maize to the Grain Millers of Zimbabwe (GMAZ).

However, Nankumwa argues the decision would negatively impact the food security situation in Malawi.

"I am writing you this letter to express my deepest annoyance following reports that the public grain marketing company Agriculture Development Corporation (ADMARC) is proceeding with the sale of 100 000 metric tonnes of maize to the Grain Millers of Zimbabwe despite a recent assurance by the Minister of Finance Hon. Sosten Gwengwe, that the maize will not be sold," reads part of the letter to Chakwera.

Nankumwa added: Mr. President, you may be well aware that many experts, and ordinary Malawians, are against this sale of maize by ADMARC precisely because all indications are that many ordinary households are likely to face hunger this year due to anticipated low yields.

"As the Head of State and Government, your primary responsibility is to ensure that Malawians are food-secure, aside from protecting them from other socio-economic challenges. Let me, therefore, warn Your Excellency that the opposition shall hold you personally responsible for any loss of life to hunger as a result of the sale of maize."

GMAZ has also secured an estimated 300,000 metric tonnes of white maize from Zambia after the government allowed private players the green-light to import the staple crop to offset shortages caused by a severe drought that hit the country during the 2021/22 farming season.

The shortage has also been caused by disruptions in global commodity movement occasioned by the Russia/Ukraine armed conflict.

The country requires 900 000 metric tonnes of maize for commercial milling every year to meet demand.

However, questions have been raised as to why Zimbabwe will soon face maize shortages after the government poured in millions of dollars in foreign currency to fund farmers through the government sponsored but controversial Command Agricultural and the Presidential Inputs schemes.

Source - NewZimbabwe
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