Likoma Island Member of Parliament (MP) Ashems Songwe of Malawi, has said Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) would remain liabilities if efforts are not made to detach politics from their operations.
Songwe, during the debate on the 2019/2020 national budget on Monday said there was too much political interference which affects the two institutions’ service delivery.
“Because of politics, we have huge tonnes of maize being disposed of because they are rotten, yet we are worried about hunger looming in this country. We need to change the management at Admarc and empower them to function as professional institutions with minimal political interference,” he said.
The lawmaker suggested to Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister, Joseph Mwanamvekha, to transfer funds allocated to Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) to Admarc and let it operate under a contract.
“It should be given a contract to produce on behalf of the government. In that way, we are going to have more people employed and sustain Admarc. [When this happens] we can have a guarantee of high yield,” Mr. Songwe said.
Recently, the Agriculture, Irrigation and Development Ministry disclosed that about 7,000 metric tonnes of maize got rotten while laying in Admarc’s stocks.
Meanwhile, Dedza South MP Ishmael Onani has accused Mwanamvekha of bringing a budget that is not tallying with the Malawi Development Growth Strategy (MDGS) 3. Onani said among others, the budget seeks to construct 40 boreholes nationwide when the MDGS 3 speaks of providing 90 percent of the population with potable water by 2020.
“We are not following our policies. Other countries like Rwanda come here, copy our policy and register economic growth while we remain poor,” said the MP.
Written by Audrey Kapalamula