Admarc distributes 5% of maize

Admarc distributes 5% of maize

The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has so far distributed 650 metric tonnes (MT) of maize to its depots out of the 12 640MT earmarked for sale during the first phase, data shows.

This means that since Thursday last week, the State produce trader has just drawn 5.1 percent of the maize from National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), but authorities blame the low uptake on logistical issues.

Consumers waiting for maize at Zingwangwa Admarc market in Blantyre last Thursday

Admarc general manager Daniel Makata in an interview yesterday said in terms of sales, the situation is mixed because in some markets, business is slow while in others people are scrambling for the staple grain.

He said: “So far we have started well, we have distributed maize mainly to the Southern Region. The process continues and we expect to reach more markets this week.

“In terms of the uptake, it is still slow. People are buying, but there is no market where we delivered and maize has run out. We have some markets where many people are buying, and others with very less people to buy. Where we have more people, we also have more maize.”

According to Makata, by Sunday, they had distributed 650MT.

He said: “We are lifting from far places mostly in Lilongwe. We continue lifting until we have finished all the tonnage.

“For Likoma, our focus is that when the vessel [Ilala] is sailing, it carries the maize. We expect that the maize should be there on Tuesday.”

NFRA acting chief executive officer David Loga said the matter relates to transportation.

He said: “It has nothing to do with the availability of maize. We have enough stock and the 12 640MT that they need is not much.

“Most of the maize is being taken from the Central Region. So that could be the issue on the delays to get much of the grain to the depots.”

Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale said the K600 per kilogramme price has taken into account production cost of the grain.

He said: “Not everyone can afford to buy. It has never happened before, but we know that there are some people who can’t afford to buy and that is why the Department of Disaster Management Affairs is coming in.”

In an earlier interview, Grain Traders Association of Malawi president Grace Mijiga Mhango said the country requires imports and the involvement of various stakeholders to effectively address food insecurity.

The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee established that 4.4 people will not be able to meet their annual food requirements for the 2023/2024 consumption period.

The figure represents about 22 percent of the Malawi projected total population of 19.6 million, but also a15 percent increase when compared to 3.9 million people that were food insecure in 2022.

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