Farmers Union criticizes govt ban on maize exports

The following is the full statement released by the Farmers Union of Malawi on May 17 2017:

Farmer’s Union of Malawi observes with great concern the practice by government of imposing export ban on maize. While we appreciate that government reason for imposing export bans is in good faith to ensure that Malawi is food self sufficient and as a risk management strategy, decisions about whether to sustain or lift a ban especially on maize do not adequately consider the impact on farmers. We are of the impression that the export ban on maize is sustained irrespective of whether it is bringing economic injury and suffering to farmers. We are appalled by this lack of sensitivity by government.

As you are aware, the export ban this year has dampened maize farm gate prices especially considering that private sector and government still have significant volumes of maize in stock from last year estimated at 100,000 Mt with ADMARC and 60,000 Mt with Private Sector. While government invests billions in agriculture through the subsidy programme in order to benefit the smallholder farmers that are resource constraint, the export ban on the other hand reduces the expected benefits to Farm Input Subsidy Programme targeted farmers which is clear policy contradiction. The impact is worse for farmers that are operating without the maize input  subsidy support considering that only 900,000 farmers out of over 3 million farmers are on Farm input subsidy support.

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