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Cisanet Warns Malawi Faces Serious Hunger

Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) has cautioned authorities to put measures to help avert an impending food crisis, following projection by Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) that about 4.4 million households risk facing hunger in the 2023/2024 consumption period.

The projections represent a 15 percent increase compared to the previous consumption period when 3.9 million people faced hunger.

In its recent annual food security assessment results, MVAC observed that the situation may require humanitarian food assistance estimated at 219,023 metric tons of maize with an additional cash value of K167.55 billion.

But CISANET Board Chairperson, Herbert Chagona describes the situation as worrisome while calling upon government and stakeholders to put in place measures to avert food and nutrition crisis.

Chagona further says the MVAC report has exposed the country’s lackadaisical approach towards agriculture.

“For starters, the reported 3.9 Million figure food insecure Malawians in the lural areas concides with the same number of households that government normally targets in its annual national Agricultural Inputs Program(AIP),that surely takes chunks off the country’s national budget.

“The question is: Who is this initiative really benefiting, if government —- having first moved to empower rural households enhance their own food and nutrition security —- also has to always come back to the the same households with food relief during lean period,” reads part of the CISANET statement.

This comes as maize production has dropped by 5.6 percent this season to 3.5 million metric tons from 3.71 metric tons in the previous season.

Currently, a 50 kilogram bag of maize is going at between K35,000 and K40 000.

As part of the food component, maize weighs heavy in the consumer price index, which is an aggregate basket of goods and services for computing inflation.

Meanwhile, a local governance institution, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives-CDEDI starts vigils pushing for reduction of maize prices and that government should distribute the commodity in all ADMARC depots.

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