Malawi to spend $47 mln for maize: finance minister


Malawi plans to spend 47 million US dollars on maize purchases locally and abroad to address food shortages after a combination of floods and drought damaged crops, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said on Wednesday.

(READ MORE: Malawi says to miss 2015 economic growth forecast after deadly floods)

Gondwe told Reuters about 18 million US dollars will be spent before the end of June with the remainder earmarked for purchases from July 1, when the 2015/16 financial year begins.


He said this was necessary to “feed Malawians throughout the country.”

In January torrential rains forced Malawi, which had a bumper crop of 3.9 million tonnes in 2014 and a surplus of over a million tonnes, to declare half the country a disaster zone.

The floods decimated crops, displacing 340,000 people and killing over 100, while production of the staple maize crop fell this year by 28 percent. Some parts of the country were also affected by a scorching regional drought.

(READ MOREZimbabweans go hungry as drought hammers Southern Africa)

Neighbouring Zambia is a one source Malawi could source maize from. Zambian agriculture minister Given Lubinda told Reuters this month his country’s yield would drop 21 percent but it would still produce an export surplus of 876,000 tonnes.