“The resulting skyrocketing prices of goods pose a significant threat to the efforts of growing Malawi’s Agri-food systems” crucial for fighting hunger, said CISANET chair Herbert Chagona in a statement.
CISANET cited the dairy industry as one sector hard hit, with milk prices now largely out of reach and farmers abandoning production. Interviews found most dairy farmers struggling due to low compensation from processors.
Chagona urged the government to urgently raise and enforce minimum prices for raw milk to ensure adequate income.
“This will help farmers to have means to reinvest in their farms and families, fostering growth and resilience within the sector,” he explained.
Without addressing the fallout, Malawi risks reversing progress towards national development goals outlined under the MW2063 plan to reduce poverty and malnutrition over the long term by improving agriculture, incomes and inclusive growth, CISANET warned.
“It is not only a moral imperative but also critical for the long term development and progress of Malawi” to make nutritious foods affordable and curb malnutrition’s impacts, especially on children, Chagona emphasized.
The Malawi kwacha has lost two-thirds of its value against the dollar over the past two years.
The resulting inflation has made necessities increasingly expensive for most residents in one of the world’s poorest countries.