Government plans to increase maize storage capacity


Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has disclosed that rehabilitation works on the country’s Strategic Grain Reserves (SGR) will take at least three years.

Chief Director of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture Bright Kumwembe disclosed that despite architectural design shortcomings that lead to the SGRs – at Kanengo in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Mangochi and Lutchenza in Thyolo – malfunctioning sometime in May 2013, government, with the support from the European Union (EU), has drawn up rehabilitation plans for the silos.

“With support from the EU, we are rehabilitating the silos because they had a fault that resulted in water infiltration affecting the maize that was stored inside.


“We have developed new SGR guidelines that will see us keeping over 217,000 metric tonnes per year. Though this is a big investment, we need a strong grain storage base and we hope that, within three years, everything will be in place,” Kumwembe said.

Close to 30,000 metric tonnes of maize were in 2013 declared unfit for human consumption due to water infiltration in the silos.

He, however, said the programme has not been included in this year ’s budget but an allocation may be included in the mid-year budget review in February next year.


Kumwembe said the ministry has taken steps to promote village bank granaries at village level and is continuing with its programmes on the use of metallic silos at household level.

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