WHAT I READ
Two million in Malawi still food insecure: FAO
Source: United Nations Radio

While Malawi has made progress by becoming self-sufficient in maize and even produces enough of that grain to support exports, some two million people in the country still remain food insecure, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told a press conference.
The director-general and European Union Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs led an EU-FAO joint mission to Malawi to discuss with the Government ways to support increasing food security and sustainable agricultural production in the country.
Director-General Graziano da Silva says FAO is convinced that small-scale farmers organized in cooperatives can lift themselves out of poverty and malnutrition by improving their access to markets, buying inputs at better prices, and obtaining financial and social protection services.
“The second point is that unfortunately, Malawi still has a big number of malnourished people despite progressing in maize production. We are assisting the country and we are finding the way to promote more food programmes to tackle the poorest people and we believe that this is the way out of it.”
FAO, the EU and the Government of Malawi also agreed that sustainable land use and the rights that go with it should be part of the rural development work being done.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.

MY RESPONSE
I find this article coming from the highly respected source not only misleading but also devoid of the truth. It is a fact that in Malawi many people are food insecure, actually even more than the number he is quoting of 2 million people. BUT this should not be the reason to demonize the country-led programme to assist the livelihoods of masses of small farmers and their families. I am talking about the Farm Input Support Programme to very poor farmers. If donors support the programme, it is a plus BUT Malawi has no option at the moment other than supporting the selected poor farm households with a mere USD64 per year in fertilizer and seed subsidy. If any leader in Malawi will not afford this level of support to the poor, then he or she can best stay away.
There are many reasons why people face food poverty amidst plenty food. I will not dwell on this but the author can find out for himself. I will just give below some reported figures of hungry people in countries where it is unimaginable. This only demonstrates how deep and unfair the world is to those living on the margins. Check the figures below and balance your reporting:

Nearly 5m homes living in food poverty as report finds shocking rise in families turning to foodbanks for help

By Solomon Mkumbwa

 

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