LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi is said to be losing its peripheral of food diversification to avert hunger crisis the country has been experiencing over the years, Maravi Post has learnt.
The quest to promote various food crops has been on paper work defeating the whole purpose to make the country the food basket.
It has been observed that maize remains the sacred crop that gets much needed financial support through Farm Inputs Subsidy Program (FISP).
A lot of billion of Kwachas are allocated yearly to FISP to promote maize sideling other food crops including rice, cassava, millets and others that could the country rely on than only maize.
In an interview with The Maravi Post, agricultural expert and consultant Tamani Nkhono-Mvula disclosed that food diversification is failing to materialize in the country due to political influences that policies at hand favor maize.
Nkhono-Mvula observed that maize has been taken as political crop-tool where a lot of resources are given at the expense of other food crop which could make the country a food basket.
The agriculture expert was speaking on Monday in the capital Lilongwe after the sidelines of report validation on food nutrition and climate change resilience and policy analysis.
Mvula however noted one challenge that has been observed has been the continuity of programs initiated by one regime to the other regime.
“It has been observed that usually the coming in Presidents discontinue the initiatives started by the previous President. This has led to resources and momentum being lost,” said Nkhono-Mvula.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) and CARE International organized the conference aimed at popularizing the report to the public and authority for informed decision.
The study commissioned by CARE aimed at providing an overview and analysis of the policies affecting and influencing Food Security and Nutrition but also Climate Change Resilience among the farming communities in Malawi.
The analysis has made an attempt to unpack the major policies in Malawi in as far these issues are concerned and also looked at some of the international and regional policy frameworks guiding the policies at the local level.
“Although maize remains the country’s staple food due to its output production in small piece of land than any other crop, sideling other food crop is suicidal.
“There has been political connotation on maize hence many resources are provided to it through FIPS. This has to change completely. If food diversification is to be materialized then let the authority give necessary support to other crops such as rice, cassava, millet and others,” urges Mvula.
Mathews Pickard of CARE International emphasized the need for the country to embrace dictates of food diversification coupled with implementable policies achieve food security in the country.
In the report CARE believes that the success or failure of any policy is to greater extent influenced by the political, social, and economic environment in which they are being implemented.
An attempt has also been made to analyze the farming communities, gender characteristics underpinning policy decision and also probably affecting policy implementation.