Cyclone Survivors Need Long-term Food Security
The Greenbelt Authority has called on stakeholders to consider putting in place long term measures that would ensure people affected by Cyclone Freddy are food secure, including winter farming as soon as the waters subside.
Chief executive officer Eric Chidzungu told Zodiak the authority will work with government agencies to plan on how to help the affected people with resources to plant crops in the coming winter so they can reduce dependency on food aid as they rebuild their lives.
Chidzungu says while the government and other responders are busy with interim relief efforts, there is also a need to plan for long term measures, especially on food security for the survivors.
He was speaking in Lilongwe when Salima Sugar Company, a subsidiary of the Greenbelt Authority, made a donation of K5,000,000 to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) toward the survivors of the disaster.
“We have to immediately look at winter cropping, whether in such a way that farmers are grouped in clubs, cooperatives or associations or as individuals to ensure that the survivors are provided with seed and irrigation resources.
“In the immediate winter they can grow fast-growing crops so that they can be food secure, and even, if all goes well, sell some produce to raise money and have a little income in the process of restoring their lives,” he said.
Company Secretary for Salima Sugar Limited Dr Charles Thupi said the firm is sympathizing with Malawians affected by the cyclone, adding that it will soon make more donations on top of the K5,000,000 cash.
“You know the devastation is so huge so as a corporate citizen we felt that it was high time we came in to help. Our expectation is that DoDMA will channel this donation towards the survivors,” said Dr. Thupi.
The ministry of agriculture on Wednesday commenced an assessment of the extent of damage the cyclone has caused to crop fields in the affected districts, amid fears that thousands of people have been left with barely nothing to rely on.