Salima: Senior Chief Khombedza of Salima has expressed worry as communities in the district have started selling their maize harvest at giveaway price despite that their harvest has dwindled.
Earlier in the Season the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) estimated that the district crop harvest for maize will fall by 13 per cent as a result of the fall army worms and the prolonged dry spell.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Tuesday, Chief Khombedza said it is sad that some communities would want to create food shortages in their households by selling the food which they have.
It is true that most house-have not realized enough yields especially maize, but the little that they have is enough to take them somewhere if they manage it well, but unfortunately they are selling it very cheap.
They started selling at around K2, 500 per 50 kilogramme bag and now they have adjusted to K3,000, which is still less than what they were buying during the time of shortage, the Senior Chief observed.
Chief Khombedza explained that as Chiefs they are taking usual steps to control the sale of maize in their areas with hope that some will remain.
We are doing the usual policing role, but the problem is that the maize belongs to them and they always make ways to beat our control measures, he stated.
Chairperson of the Council, Councilor Evason Mpayani has said that in the absence of government set minimum price of commodities, the Council would speed up putting down temporary measures to control the sale of Maize.
We know that government has promised to intervene in any food shortage situation that may affect the people, but that should not let the people deliberately create the shortage by selling all what they have harvested.
So as a Council will meet as soon as possible and discuss the measures which we have to put in place in order to control the maize trade, he said.
Executive Director of Salima Governance Network (SAGNET), Thomas Mwangupili said that it is sad that some small-holder farmers have a tendency of selling out all their harvest with the aim that government should give them free food.
I think Civil Society and other responsible parties should scale up sensitization campaigns on the evil of creating food shortages through reckless sale of the little harvest they have. It is high time people become responsible, yes we know about the army fall worms and the dry spell but there is still some harvest, he observed.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA