The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), carried out an annual food security assessment exercise which was completed end July 2019.
The exercise was aimed at assessing the food security situation in the country, and determining the number of people who are likely to be food insecure during the 2019/20 consumption year.
The results of the assessment show that a total of 1,062,674 people , out of the total estimated rural population of 14,747,257, will not be able to meet their annual food requirement during the 2019/20 consumption period. This represents 7 percent of the total Malawi rural population. The affected population has decreased from 3,306,405 people during the 2018/19 consumption period to 1,062, 674 people this consumption season. The affected population is in all 27 districts which were assessed with varying degrees of severity.
This decrease has been as a result of increased agriculture production during the 2018/19 agriculture season due to favourable weather in general, despite instances of flooding, Fall Army Worm infestation and extended dry spells in some districts. The total humanitarian maize that is required to support the affected people is estimated at 33,810 Metric Tonnes of maize with an estimated cash value of about MK6.76 billion. In addition, the affected population will also require 6,762 MT of pulses costing about MK10.14 billion and 1,244 MT of vegetable oil costing about MK2.24 billion.
The Government, in collaboration with its development partners, will be implementing response interventions to assist the affected population.
Meanwhile, the National Food Reserve Agency is in the process of procuring maize to increase their stocks to be able to manage any eventualities. In addition, ADMARC is procuring maize from the smallholder farmers to ensure that the commodity is available in all its selling points, so as to stabilise the prices of maize, in particular during the lean period. Furthermore, the Government in collaboration with stakeholders will continue to implement safety nets and resilience building interventions across the country.
Cliff K. Chiunda
Secretary to the Treasury