CDEDI Plans Maize Crisis Vigils from August 9

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By Lovemore Khomo

The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI has written Lilongwe District Commissioner, Dr. Lawford Palani informing him of its planned vigils at Parliament from 9th August this year to force the August House enact an emergency Maize Bill that shall authorize the swift distribution of maize.

In the letter, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa says they want the National Food Reserve Agency-NFRA maize be distributed to various ADMARC depots across the country and reduce its minimum price by half.

Namiwa adds despite Parliament approving K12 billion for the maize purchase, they have established that the maize in stock at NFRA can only last for two months if distributed across the country.

“The maize situation in the country is a fatal disaster in waiting. Unfortunately, like what happens when disasters strike, this maize crisis will mostly affect the vulnerable and marginalized Malawians in both urban and rural areas and needless loss of lives cannot be avoided,” reads the CDEDI letter.

Recently, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations-UN disclosed that about 3.8 million people would be good insecure due to extreme weather and high prices of the staple food.

Currently, a 50 kilogram bag of maize is going at K35 000 or K40 000 depending on the private traders behaviors.

A few days ago, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa also called on the government to ensure swift action on the maize crisis.

Earlier, Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu had indicated that government was aware of the problem and would act.

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