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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Let us draw on past lessons

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As was expected, the ministerial statement presented in Parliament by Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development did not bring good news.

Malawi is on the brink of a food crisis due to dry spells and fall armyworms that have attacked a huge hectarage of maize crops. According to the minister, Malawi needs K88.4 billion for short, medium and long-term strategies to avert the hunger situation.

While we have some comfort from the assurance by both Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Finance that funds and resources are available, we would like to remind the government to act with caution.

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It is not the first time that the country has found itself in such a predicament. Last year or two years ago, the government also gave us some projection of people that were expected to be hit hard by hunger.

It later turned out that there were some errors in the figures and what followed was a series of blunders on the government part. We would, therefore like to agree with Chairperson of Agriculture Committee of Parliament, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, that the government must make sure that the projections are correct to avoid what happened last time.

As Malunga has rightly put it, last time we had such projections, the figures presented were not correct, which led to panic and, in the end, we plunged into the infamous Zambia- Malawi maize scandal.

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We believe that this time around, the government has done a thorough job so that we do not find ourselves in the burning house with a child inside scenario.

We also would like to ask the government to be prudent and, at the same time, vigilant in imposing the maize export ban. Last time there was a maize export ban, government’s security agencies did not do a good job as tonnes of trucks were still exporting maize.

All said, we would like to ask all to join hands so that no single Malawian is lost to hunger.

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