President Lazarus Chakwera has said the country still has enough food from stocks of the 2020/21 harvest.
Chakwera said even though this year’s harvest would go down by a national average of 14 percent it’s not a cause for worry as it is a reduction of anticipated surplus.
He was speaking in Mzimba Friday at a developmental rally he held at Envuyeni Ground after inspecting crops and livestock in the district.
“There should be no panic because we have the food. I am saying this because the previous AIP [Affordable Input Programme], although it had its own challenges, its implementation was way better than the current one. Now because we did well during that year production of crops was well off, and the surplus margin went up as compared to any other year. So that surplus has gone down by 14 percent,” he said.
On development, Chakwera highlighted that the current administration would carry on from where previous regimes left on.
“If we have done Chakazi Bridge we will also finish the rest,” he said
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said despite the challenges that the AIP is facing Malawians still want the programme to continue.
Lowe also said the coming in of Agriculture Commercialisation programme has helped farmers to be put into groups which has proved to be effective.
He cited farmers in the fish industry who are reaping higher returns.
“We want to encourage farmers here in Mzuzu and Malawi at large, let’s work hard in the fishing industry. Of course, they have expressed worry over lack of fish food. For long we have relied on feed from Zambia. I know a person in Lilongwe who has started producing fish feed but as a government we need to do more,” he said.
Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa asked the government to capacitate Mzimba District forest office saying, forests in the district are being destroyed at a scary speed.
M’mbelwa said for example for the office to make patrols in all the district’s forests they would need about 50 officers but they currently have seven officers.
“We need more vehicles and staff. The office is also underfunded. Monthly the office receives between K100 and K200, 000 for patrols which is too little,” he said.
On the tour Chakwera visited Lusangazi Dairy Cooperative and Mandunduma Corporative Aquaculture Farm in Emsizini Extension Planning Area, fields in Majuwani Mwandira, Robert Mseteka, and Gwaza Hara villages in Mzimba.