Cisanet hails stringent rules on produce sales


The Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) has hailed government’s move to reinforce the regulation of trading of agriculture produce in the country in an effort to bring sanity on the market.
In a statement released on Friday, Cisanet said the measures taken by government have come at the right time when the country faces food deficit due to the impact of strong El Nino conditions during the 2015/2016 growing season.
The statement, signed by Cisanet National Director Tamani Nkhono Mvula, said trading of agriculture produce in Malawi is generally chaotic whereby everyone can decide to hung up weighing scales that are in most cases not assized by the Malawi Bureau of Standards.
The weighing scales, according to Cisanet, are sometimes tampered with by unscrupulous vendors to dupe unsuspecting farmers of their hard earned farm produce.
“As you may recall, the 2014/2015 growing season was also one of the worst seasons in the country. Malawi experienced the worst floods in living memory which were followed by prolonged dry spells in a lot of districts. This resulted in a sharp decline in maize production rendering about 2.8 million people in 25 districts food insecure.
“During that time, vendors went on the market earlier to procure agricultural produce such as maize but hoarded the same during the lean period causing untold suffering of most Malawians who looked up to them for survival. We found this to be an irresponsible behavior as it was a violation of people’s right to food,” says Cisanet.
It further notes that the efforts taken by government to regulate the trading of agricultural produce will not only regulate and bring sanity on the market but will also ensure that those who bought the produce can be held to accountable.
“At the same time we are calling on the Malawi Government to consider developing a framework law on the right to food as was recommended by the UN Rappatuer on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, as observed in 2013 following his visit to Malawi.
“The framework law on right to food will criminalise any violations on people access to food, politicisation of food, demanding sexual favours in exchange for food, among others,” reads the statement in part.

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