Members of Parliament fault government on maize export ban


Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday faulted government’s move of completely banning maize export, arguing the move has greatly affected farmers in the country.

Parliamentary committee on Industry, Trade and Tourism has said government should have done a survey on the amount of maize that the country needs, then calculate the quantity of maize that could be exported or not.

The committee’s chairperson, Willard Gwengwe, expressed the concern when officials from Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Auction Commodity Exchange for Africa, among others, appeared before it to discuss the maize export ban.


The committee said this year’s rains were adequate and, as a result, people have produced a surplus of the commodity, rendering the total ban unnecessary.

“This time around, people are having surplus maize which has made the price at which it is purchased to be reduced As we are imposing this ban, the economy is also affected as foreign currency is not coming into the country,” Gwengwe said.

He further said Parliament would have loved if Treasury in conjunction with ministries of Trade and Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development could have estimated how much maize the country needs.


“For instance, if we needed two million metric tonnes, how many quantities do we have in the country? We can allow the farmers to sell surplus maize and only keep the quantity that we need as a country but the total ban is not acceptable,” he said.

According to the committee, at the price of K3, 000 per 50-kilogramme bag of maize which people are buying the maize at, it means that people have to sell 14 bags of the commodity to be able to purchase two bags of fertiliser, which does not make economic sense..

The committee also said the parallel prices that Admarc and National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) are selling maize clearly indicate the loopholes that are in government system.

The Malawi government endorsed the ban in 2013 when there was a hunger crisis.

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