LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s social monitoring body Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) is banking on passing of Right to Food Bill into the law saying the legal framework will square the balance on maize markets in the country.
The centre observes that maize, which is Malawi’s staple food should have stand alone proper legal framework to enforce the set minimum prices and proper structured market systems.
This comes amid local farmers general outcry over low prices fetched when selling their produces despite huge some of money spent on inputs.
For instance the CFSC discloses that its recent study results showed the expected income per acre was MK357000.00 on average with a maximum of MK391, 000.00 in Dedza and a minimum of MK340, 000.00 in Mzimba, Zomba and Chikwawa.
The actual income on average was MK159, 418 per acre with a maximum of MK184, 000 in Dedza and a minimum of MK136, 500 in Kasungu.
Having calculated the income, gross margins were also calculated thus for both expected and the actaulised ones.
The figure shows that the expected gross income averaged MK129, 375.00 ranging between MK47, 000.00 – MK200, 000.00 in Zomba and Kasungu respectively.
The actual gross income based on the actual prices ranged between -MK133, 000.00 to –MK19, 700.00 with an average of –MK68, 208.00 which indicated that the farmers are making losses in maize production.
This according to the social monitoring body is impinging farmers to their economic rights that coupled with right to food.
Addressing the news conference this week in the capital Lilongwe, CFSC Executive Director Fr. Jose Kuppens observed that if the proper legal framework is in place will enforce the set minimum prices and proper structured market systems.
Fr. Kuppens said fast tracking to pass the the much awaited Right to Food Bill into the law will also protect farmers from exploitation form misguided traders.
He hopes that the law will make maize a controlled crop that its production and sells will be regulated to achieve food security.
“If the country is to achieve agribusiness based agriculture then we should significantly graduate to Market oriented approach strategy. Producing is based on contractual arrangements and assured markets.
“If right to food which the government of Malawi Consented to is to be achieved then a study should be conducted within the region to stop the trend. The government should invest in setting up structured markets and set price supporting mechanisms. The government should lead by example, urges Fr. Kuppens.
Unless proper legal framework is in place, Farmers continue producing maize the staple crop at a loss as Malawi embraces the so called Liberalization