Government, through the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) has so far bought about 170,000 metric tonnes of maize to cushion the country from the effects of severe food shortage, Spokesperson for Ministry of Finance, Nations Msowoya, has said.
In an interview yesterday, Msowoya said the maize has been bought locally adding that Admarc intends to import a further 100,000 metric tonnes from Zambia within the month.
“Admarc is financed locally from local banks: EcoBank and CDH. They have so far managed to locally get 83,000 metric tonnes. From Zambia they will import 100,000 metric tonnes. These will start arriving within September,” he said.
Msowoya also said Admarc will be buying up to 300,000 metric tonnes of maize from Ukraine, translating into a total tonnage of 483,000.
The supplier in Ukraine has provided about $15 million as a loan for the purchase with repayment in 10 years and a grace period of four years. The details of the loan, however, have not been finalised as they are still going under review process, Msowoya said.
“All this is commercial maize. When Admarc sells the grain, then they should be able to repay the loans. As government, we just come in to guarantee the loans,” he said.
Meanwhile, NFRA has bought 87,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian maize, locally, utilising the K16 billion provided by government. The other humanitarian maize is being bought by the World Food Programme (WFP).
“Meanwhile the other humanitarian maize is being bought through the World Food Programme using the resources that have been pledged by our bilateral and multilateral partners and some of the resources that were provided in the budget.
“Development partners that have come forth with support include China, Japan, USA, World Bank, African Development Bank, IMF, the EU, UK, and the UN family,” he said.
As of yesterday, the World Bank had provided the government with $15 million through the Malawi Floods Emergency Recovery Project to procure maize.
The funds have been used to procure 52,547.480 metric tonnes of maize, of which 50,547.480 tonnes have been delivered to the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR) while 2,000 metric tonnes are currently being procured by Press Agriculture according to the Bank’s Communications Officer, Zeria Banda.
At least 6.5 million people are said to be in need of food aid due to prolonged effects of El Nino weather phenomenon
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