The government has been advised to change the current marketing strategies if it wants to effectively address the hunger situation in the country, says Civil Society for Poverty Reduction.
Eastern Province Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) provincial coordinator, Maxwell Nkhoma said he was worried with the high cost of mealie-meal in some parts of the country.
He said it was important that the government effectively strategised on the marketing system that would enhance food security for the country.
Nkhoma stated that the current marketing system had proved to be cumbersome to farmers who were not willing to sell their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
Nkhoma said there was need for the government to effectively strategise on the marketing system that would enhance food security in the country.
He explained that the government should take serious consideration of the complaints by the farmers that the maize floor price was low compared to the production cost.
“The government needs to revisit its payment procedures and this is the reason why there is a hike in mealie-meal because farmers are selling in neighbouring countries where they are paid cash upon selling their maize,” he said.
Nkhoma stated that prompt payment was important and key to ensure food security, adding that most farmers depended on agriculture for their livelihood.
Eastern Province has in the recent past experienced an increase in smuggling of maize to neighbouring Malawi and Mozambique.
However, mealie-meal prices have continued to rise in most parts of North Western and Western Provinces with the highest cost being K90 per 25kg bag of breakfast and K85 roller meal.
And Fredrick Kafula, of Zambezi district told the Daily Nation that the rate at which mealie-meal prices were going up was worrying.Kafula said residents in the area were unable to buy the commodity adding that the district had also been hit with hunger due to poor rainfall. He said that it was impossible to just depend on relief food when many parts of the country recorded the hunger situation.Kafula bemoaned the continued rise in mealie-meal prices countrywide.