Malawi engages World Bank, others on food security
The Ministry of Agriculture has drawn a fresh roadmap with key deliverables, budget frameworks and timelines towards food security.
This has been done with help from the World Bank in collaboration with the Presidential Delivery Unit and the Tony Blair Institute.
It comes as a report by Famine Early Warning Systems Network projects that Malawi will face hunger this year.
In an interview, Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale said the government agreed with the institutions on best approaches to accessing quality and affordable inputs going forward.
He said the government will move towards investing in irrigation farming and water management infrastructure, creating structured markets for local commodities and attracting investors in commercial farming and agro-processing.
“We are committed to seeing the ministry serve people better and contribute effectively to the development of this country and we made sure that stakeholders are present to assist us come up with a good roadmap,” Kawale said.
Other stakeholders the ministry is working with include SFFRFM, National Registration Bureau, Admarc, Economic Planning and Development Unit, Universal Beneficiary Registry, Ministry of Gender (Social Cash Transfers Team), Ministry of Finance, Green Belt Authority, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Trade and Malawi Trade and Investment Centre.
Malawi, an agrarian economy, has been faced with many challenges threatening food security including harsh weather conditions, rising cost of production and squeezed level of income among most subsistence farmers.
A Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report indicated that at least 3.8 million people or 20 percent of the population were expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity.
At 3.8 million, this is the highest number of acutely food-insecure population in the last five years compared to 3.3 million in the 2018- 19 consumption year and 1.49 million in the 2021-22 consumption year.
Maize is the country’s staple crop and its price has been on an upward spiral in the past months due to low supply as the country is at the peak of the lean season.