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MVAC COMMENCES ANNUAL FOOD SECURITY ASSESSMENTS

By Amalawi - Thu May 31, 1:33 pm

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The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) under the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) on Monday the 28th of May 2012,  commenced a seven day country wide annual vulnerability assessment exercise with focus on food security situation.  The exercise is conducted annually soon after  harvests to assess districts food security situation so as to alert government  areas and population likely to face food shortages.

Maize Fields

Maize Fields

Speaking at a training of technicians to conduct the country wide exercise at Beauty Merridien in Dowa district, the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation  in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development Mr. Simwaka stressed the importance of the activity ; ‘ these assessments will provide ground situation as regards food security and aid government to plan carefully for interventions to assist the people in need’. The committee is comprised of government ministries and departments, such as disaster management and preparedness, meteorology and climate change, statistical office,  non-governmental and civil society organizations, research and training institutions such as Bunda College of Agriculture and Chancellor College.

Although the country’s food situation is expected to be favorable based on projected production figures for the 2011-12 season, there are fears of serious pockets of food insecurity in the southern parts of the country, particularly in Phalombe, Mulanje, Thyolo, and perennially Chikwawa and Nsanje districts. Among other factors,  a poorly coordinated subsidy program and tricky weather and rainfall pattern are much thought to have facilitated the situation. Although maize and other food products are expected to be available in many of the local markets, the recent devaluation of the local currency is believed to send the food prices rocket high as sellers capitalize on the weaker Kwacha to make gains.

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