Malawi is losing about K100 billion a year due to poor handling, management and storage of crop yields.
Managing Director for Farmers Organisation Limited (FOL) Henry Burger disclosed this in Blantyre on Wednesday when the company re-introduced Super Guard Dust, a grain storage chemical specifically made to deal with the Large Grain Boller.
Burger said, for a long time, such losses have had an impact on Malawi’s food security status.
“Post-harvest losses have a huge impact on the food that goes out to the people of Malawi. On average, Malawi registers 15 percent loss of all its harvest and that is a lot,” burger said.
He said there is a need for a clear policy direction by government to ensure that post-harvest losses are reduced, especially now that thousands of farmers are benefitting from the Affordable Input Programme (AIP).
The firlm’s national marketing and sales manager Ronald Chilumpha reiterated that the reintroduction of Super Guard Dust by FOL is to compliment the gains registered in the AIP.
According to Chilumpha, the chemical is effective and protects maize for nine to 11 months from the Large Grain Boller.
“The beauty of Super Guard Dust is that the maize is edible three to four days from the day of application,” Chilumpha said.
When contacted for comment, spokesperson in the Ministry of Agriculture Gracian Lungu agreed to the observations but said government has been engaging stakeholders on the matter.
“We are also encouraging our farmers to be using Helmatic bags; there are concerns that they are expensive but their long life span makes them cost-effective,” he said.
Super Guard dust went off market in 2012 due to what authorities say were logistical challenges.