Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) is failing to buy enough maize, in the North, and has managed to purchase only half of the required quantity in the region.
Statistics from the corporation’s regional office in the North indicate that Admarc only managed to buy 14,400 metric tonnes of maize between April and June this year spending close to K3 billion.
The region requires slightly above 28, 000 tonnes of maize to sustain itself for a whole year.
Nearly 145,812 households, mostly from Mzimba and Rumphi districts, face starvation for approximately three months in the 2016 /17 season due to poor harvest in the 2015 /16 growing season that was exacerbated by adverse weather conditions, according to Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac).
Speaking to stakeholders during a regional consultative meeting on Monday at Mzuzu City Council Chamber, Regional Manager for the Corporation, Japhet Dindi, said Admarc has reopened its buying markets throughout the region to stock up the grain.
“We will keep buying maize from farmers. We are keeping all the maize that is bought at district level and the surplus transferred to regional holding centres,” Dindi said.
He, however, described the state of purchases as a good start considering the regional requirement.
Dindi said Admarc had a stock-taking break in June and July, before reopening the markets.
Mzuzu Crops Officer, Fred Manyozo, said the region will take solace into the fact that other crops did well in terms of harvest.
Among others, the region has registered a 29 percent increase in rice harvest and two percent increase in cassava.
“We are also distributing fertiliser to farmers for irrigation which is going at a subsidised rate of K5,000. We are also conducting field days so that farmers are equipped with good farming practices,” Dindi said.
Meanwhile, the latest Mvac report indicates that only Rumphi and Mzimba are affected by hunger while Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhata Bay and Likoma are not on the list of the affected districts.
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