By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera has told the nation that the crop inspection tour he is currently conducting in some parts of the country is giving him a broader picture of the expected food situation in the country this year.
He was speaking at a developmental rally he addressed at Mwenje Primary School ground of TA Kaphuka in Dedza District on Tuesday, April 12,2022 after conducting crop inspection of both rain and irrigation crops.
“Receiving reports in my office from the Minister and Ministry Officials alone is not enough to assess the situation, and the mood on ground, to have a true picture if you do not physically go and visit the sites. This is one of the reasons I have embarked on conducting inspection tours across the country.” President Chakwera told the nation in his speech.
Further President Chakwera told the gathering that he is having good time to see for himself fields both which have done well and those that have not done well, saying it is clear that some farmers will have bumper yields while others will face food shortage, but he came quick to assure the nation that having assessed the situation on ground, his government will monitor it that no citizen must complain of food or die of hunger, while urging the farmers not sell all their harvests.
During the tour in Dedza, President Chakwera visited some maize fields, and the 800 hectares of Bwanje irrigation scheme in the area of TA Kachindamoto where he visited rice fields while interacting with farmers to hear their concerns.
In his speech the President said some farmers will fail to have good harvest following some hiccups in the AIP system due to interference in the process by some vendors who were buying IDs from farmers and redeem the inputs, leaving poor Malawian farmers with hands around their necks.
“Had is been that all those who were recorded and claimed as having redeemed their inputs really did so, we could have many fields (gardens) with good looking crops, promising bumper harvest, but the case is different on ground.” Lamented President Chakwera.
Here President Chakwera echoed and concurred with his Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe to have AIP beneficiaries operating in farmers clubs to have the problem checked off.
Malawi leader, further appealed to those farmers who will harvest highly not to sell their yields, but keep enough for food while selling the surplus at not less than the government set minimum prices that his administration is expected to release on Wednesday, April 2022.
Apart from farming and food security, President Chakwera also tackled other developmental projects with emphasis on ending corruption and bribery which he said has destroyed the nation with many projects being of substandard.
The President has since urged all Malawians to thank God for the good rains regardless that it caused havoc in some areas of the country.