FUM Annoyed Govt. Pushed Up Maize Buying Prices
The Farmers Union of Malawi-FUM-says the decision by government to push up prices for buying maize from K250 to K310 per kilogram shall only benefit traders who swept all the grain from growers when Admarc was not buying maize.
Director of Program Development at FUM, Jacob Nyirongo, observed that the decision by government is paying middlemen who abuse actually growers of maize.
“As for us farmers, we lost out already,” Nyirongo said adding “vendors will smile”.
The FUM reaction comes following the announcement by government Wednesday
The announcement comes after the National Food Reserve Agency disclosed to a committee of parliament recently that the country’s maize silos in Lilongwe were only holding 14 thousand metric tons of recommended 217 thousand metric tonnes.
At the time, NFRA pushed blame on government’s competitive bidding system as the agency only used a billion Kwacha of K10bn allocation in the 2019/20 budget.
Government has since adjusted the buying price for maize and procurement period.
Spokesperson for ministry of agriculture, Priscilla Mateyu, is optimistic the move shall make a difference in helping quell the raging food shortage in the country.
“Government believes that there are traders out there who can sell their maize to ADMARC and this will help improve situation we are in,” Mateyu said.
The maize traders have until February 29, 2020 to sell maize to ADMARC depots.
There are close to two million Malawians known to be in dire need of humanitarian food assistance. The situation has been worsened by recent natural disasters.