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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Manage Karonga, Nsanje food shortage

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News that some pockets of people in Karonga and Nsanje will be food insecure hardly comes as a surprise to many in the country. We have had it coming after the toxic combination of dry spells, floods and armyworms.

The government must move in swiftly and systematically to manage the food shortages which some parts of the country, particularly Nsanje and Karonga, are likely to experience due to several factors.

The forewarning by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network cannot, and should not, be taken lightly.

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The leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity has forewarned that the two districts might experience hunger due to, among others, the phasing out of food assistance, dry spells and the proliferation of armyworms that ravaged the maize crop in fields.

Authorities on the ground in these two districts, though quick to stress that the situation has not reached critical levels, have admitted that there will be some pockets of hunger in these areas.

The warning comes against the background that the network projected in March that the country would realise average maize harvest of nearly three million metric tonnes.

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It is also a fact that these districts are always prone to floods which largely leads to hunger in the long run.

However, with the country likely to register a bumper yield this year, Capital Hill must come up with ways of cushioning the food shortage in these two districts.

After all, in addition to the bumper harvest, the country also imported maize, even if under controversial circumstances.

Reports of maize being smuggled across the borders and the falling prices of the commodity on the market add weight to indicators that the country will have enough maize this year.

For the sake of sharing the national cake, it is now time to help our brothers and sisters in the two districts with food. Surely, we do not expect the authorities to wait for foreign aid.

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