Malawi calls for formal maize trade with Zambia as 3 million residents face hunger

Re-bagged sacks of maize awaiting FRA officials to buy from farmers

Farmers in Moyo chiefdom of Pemba district found knitting the 50 Kilogrammes bags of maize for sell at one of the Food Reserve Agency depots in the area.
Three million Malawians are expected to be hit with hunger this year following the poor rainfall received during the 2015/16 farming season.

This came to light when a delegation from the Farmers’ Union of Malawi (FUM) paid a courtesy call on the Eastern Provincial Administration in Chipata over the weekend.

FUM Director of Research, Policy and Partnership, Candida Nakhumwa, said Malawi was coming from a poor season last year where it was hit by adverse weather conditions as a result of the elnino.

Dr Nakhumwa said the President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, even declared it as a state of emergency.

She noted that the FUM wanted Zambia to help Malawi in a formal manner where the two countries could trade in Maize to cushion the hunger in that country.

‘’We want Zambia to help us where we can import maize from this country. We want to ensure that trade happens in a formal manner. Our President has declared a state of emergency because 3,000,000 people will be in need of food this year,’’ Dr. Nakhumwa said.

She observed that Malawi was lucky that Zambia had surplus maize this year and it would be prudent that the two countries helped each other by engaging in formal trade of the staple food.

And Dr Nakhumwa commended the Zambian government for relating well with the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU).

She said the Zambian government had recognised farmers as important players in economic development and FUM would also want to learn from that in implementing agricultural activities.

Dr Nakhumwa said the delegation appreciated the value-addition farmers made in their agricultural activities, citing the processing of cooking oil from sunflower using Yenga Press machines.

She noted that Malawi would also want to do the same by acquiring the equipment from Zambia.

Meanwhile, FUM President, Alfred Banda, said farmers in Malawi were hard working but lacked markets.

Mr Banda said his union wants to rely on ZNFU for the facilitation of the procurement of agro-equipment so that farmers in Malawi can also add value to their crops.

And Eastern Province Assistant Secretary, Royd Tembo, said Zambia is expected to have a bumper harvest in Southern Africa this year as a result of cooperation government has with the ZNFU.

Mr Tembo said ZNFU was the voice of the farmers and instrumental in looking at the farmers’ needs.

‘’The Zambian government appreciates working with ZNFU because it has realised that agriculture is slowly becoming an economic mainstay as the country tries to diversify the economy from copper dependency,’’ he said.

Mr Tembo also called for more similar visits in the region where countries can learn from one another, especially with the effects of climate change so that they can put their heads together to be food secure.

The FUM delegation is in Eastern Province to learn from ZNFU’s operations and share information with the Zambian Farmers’ Union which has been in existence for the past 100 years.

The delegation has so far visited Petauke, Chadiza and Chipata disitrcts.


  1. Hehehehe…………and we condemn ourselves here in Zambia as if we are not doing anything!

    So its true a prophet is not appreciated in their home town! Thanks Malawi for seeing what we don’t see in ourselves.

    • We are doing things the same way for the last 50 years ……. Zambia needs to improve it’s approach to the way it runs agriculture etc to maximise returns.


    • We wont unless you stop your people from voting here. Actually if your people vote, we will make sure that after August 11 when there is a new government, no maize will be exported to Malawi even if your people will be starving at the border.

  2. Please Lungu dont give these fools our hard earned maize, they should grow their own regardless of poor weather or not, beside for how Zambia will keeping feeding them? Look at how much maize late president Sata give Zimbabwe and Malawi in 2012 and what did we get from them ? Nothing. Trading Maize for voja ( fwaka) is nothing. Let them eat fwaka period.

  3. We have now become the best food supplier in southern Africa thanks to those white farmer Mugabe chased during his infamous lands reforms.

    • Please dont show your ignorance Mr. Saulosi and everyone else.

      The bumper harvests have nothing to do with big or white or foreign farmers from Mars or anywhere!

      90% of Zambian maize is grown by small scale and peasant farmers. They need to be recognised too. The big farmers in Zambia only grow maize for their own plants to manufacture feed for therir animals. Check your facts with ZNFU.

  4. 50 big farmers from South Africa have expressed interest to come and invest in Zambian agriculture.Lets allow them in by all means.We need their expertise and skill.

  5. Surely some people have no shame at all…farming is not rocket science – its simply hard-work which those foreign farmers you keep mentioning have been doing for years to attain success. Why can you emulate them …when is this slave mentality going? Even this maize we eat everyday is an achilles heel…what is happening in a small country like Malawi can easily happen if we do not diversify our diet.
    Malawi has potential to feed her nation with rice or other crops to reduce dependence on maize as the country has one of the deepest lake in Africa but they choose to sit on their hands and wait for rain every year.

  6. the difference between local and foreign farmers is foreign farmers can get cheaper loans outside the country plus they are here to invest and make money most of the uproot and make zambia there home……………… most zambians aren’t educated in commercial farming yet though its good some are being sent overseas for training

    • What do you think the teach at NRDC..Agriculture is no rocket science…dont you know that NRDC offers Diploma level training underwritten by the University of Zambia? Even simple co-op training certificates for best practice methods would go a long way. To this gov’t empowerment is giving a bicycle or tractor to villagers as gift ..they are happy to waste money on overpriced roads than invest in agricultural colleges like NRDC where tangible courses that promote entrepreneurship in agriculture could be promoted.

  7. Zambia is the grain basket for Africa, there is ready market for all agriculture products. Keep it up mother Zambia and help were you can supply food to our brothers and sisters in DR Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe and now Malawi. We appreciate the awesome tusk the government has put in place of FSP to our farmers country wide.

  8. @ jay jay having a lake and rains are two different things, we have lakes too but a lake cannot irrigate zambian maize even if we managed to channel water pipes everywhere,it too can drain,then we wont have fish or,fishies kikiki,I think this time the tide is in our favour,we can strengthen our relationships more with our niegbors,though im a bit relactant on exporting maize,it would be sold cheaper unlike if we had a finished product of mealie meal or dzadza or pap or ubunga,it would regenerate more income,anyway this should b an eye opener to our opposition who kept crying foul that zambia doesn’t have mealie meal after they paid millers not to produce maize,and went round some places buying everything that looked like nshima,we zambians have been blessed,I think it was after we had…

    • Do you seriously believe the opposition can pay Millers not to produce? Do you know how expensive such a venture that would be? There is too much corruption in the FRA and in govt where by the have not followed through in any reports…go to FRA and you will see the extent of this rot where mere officers can walk into Toyota Zambia and buy brand new Hilux with cash. There is need for complete review of FRA.

      Wake up from your folly and docility, use your brain!!

  9. continued..after we had our national prayers day,that seemed to bring favour from above,first of all our government has been urging people to stop relying on copper but divert thier strength and mind in farming,and what ever you grow,the government Will buy,this triggered a chain reaction,but we could not do without the rains,after the president seeing where we were heading, he quickly called for us to pray,did God answer? every neighbor is eyeing zambia for food,that should mean something,surprisingly HH didnt want prayers,his words were,prayer is just an escape goat for lazy people who dont want to work,items uyu muntu ni bad boy

  10. Is this the reason our friends are coming to vote? A white man proposed Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to ride on the advantages of unity in diversity and benefit the federation from the comparative advantage that the concerned nations possess. Many years down the road politicians are now seeking unity. Africa is a troubled continent with very emotional inhabitants.

  11. Basiyeni abo ma……..nde yawo. They want us to feed them when they have registered in their hundreds of thousands to come and vote in the August 2016 General Elections so that “Perpetual Failures (PF) can win. Let these Malawians starve to death. If they dare enter Zambia to come and vote, they will be necklaced! If you are doubting me, ask the Burundians, Rwandese and Congolese who were brutalised during the April 2016 looting and rioting.

  12. All of us can do something for ourselves in terms of ensuring we have enough on our tables. I have maize from 2014-20215 season because I do not want to cry all the time. Last year’s (2015- 2016) 15 x 65 kg bags have not yet been touched. This year I expect another twenty bags full of maize which can be sold to those who don’t have for reasons better known to themselves. Mind you this is not part of the estimated bumper harvest but surely an addition. All this is achieved during weekends and holidays. HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR FREE TIME, drinking? Lazing around?

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