President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika on Sunday assured Malawians and the world that no one will die of hunger this year as the country has enough maize in stock.
Speaking during a developmental rally at Lunzu Primary Ground in Blantyre North East constituency, the President said unlike last year, many parts in the country have been heavily hit by drought and fall army worms this year, a situation that is raising fears of poor crop production.
President Mutharika, however, said Malawians should not panic as the country has enough grains in its reserves.
“This year, there are fears of low crop production because of drought and fall army worm attack in most parts of the country. But as government, we have about 234,000 metric tons of maize ready to support the affected families.
“As long as I am the President of this country, I will ensure that that no one dies of hunger,” Mutharika said.
The Malawi leader then took a swipe at opposition parties for accusing him of banning maize export and the sale of the same to Kenya saying his stance has now been vindicated.
“As a leader, you need to be careful when making decisions. When I refused to sell maize to Kenya, the opposition said all sorts of evil about me. But I remained quite because I knew what I was doing. This year, we experiencing droughts and attacks from army worms,” he said.
On development, Mutharika said he was determined to raise the country’s profile by implementing a number of developmental projects.
The president cited road infrastructure, education and health as some of his key focus areas.
“In 2014 I promised many things and I am only fulfilling what I promised. You have seen by yourself the roads that we are constructing in all regions, the community technical colleges and new airports under construction.
“In Blantyre, we expect to have a new stadium, dual- carriage road and a new district hospital,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Member of Parliament for Blantyre North East Constituency, Cecelia Chazama said crops in many fields of the district are drying up and even if the rains come, there is no hope for a bumper harvest.
However, Chazama – who is also Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security - commended the president for stocking grains which she said would be enough for families that would be affected.
Senior Chief Kapeni of Blantyre concurred with Chazama that many families in the district would face hunger.
Kapeni, therefore, appealed to government for a quick distribution of relief food.