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Government adamant on maize export ban

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The government has said it will only consider opening the country’s borders for maize exports after satisfying the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) strategic grain reserves.

Some concerned stakeholders, including Farmers Union of Malawi (Fum), have been fighting against the maize export ban.

But the government has reinforced its stance on the matter through a brief statement.

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In the statement, the government has announced that “with immediate effect the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and NFRA will purchase maize from all traders.”

“It is further announced that maize exports will only be allowed after the NFRA has purchased enough maize to satisfy the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) requirement,” the statement reads.

This comes at a time most smallholder farmers are selling maize at prices as low as K50 per kilogramme against the government set price of K170.

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Fum has been warning that the low prices farmers are currently fetching for their maize could leave them at risk of hunger and deepening poverty as they will have to sell larger quantities of their harvests.

Some months ago, President, Peter Mutharika, ordered the deployment of Malawi Defence Force soldiers to all the country’s borders to ensure that nobody is exporting maize from the country.

This was done in fear of the recurrence of serious maize shortage of the past two consecutive floods and drought years.

The export of maize and maize products was banned in accordance with the Control of Goods Act, Cap. 18:08 of the Laws of Malawi.

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