Malawi bans maize imports from Kenya, Tanzania over disease

Malawi bans maize imports from Kenya, Tanzania over disease

Malawi, which already is suffering from food shortages, this week banned the import of unmilled maize from Kenya and Tanzania over concerns that the spread of maize lethal necrosis disease could wipe out the staple food.

The ministry of agriculture announced the ban in a statement that said the disease has no treatment and can cause up to 100% yield loss. The statement said maize can be imported only after it is milled, either as flour or grit.

Henry Kamkwamba, an agriculture expert with the International Food Policy Research Institute, told VOA that if the disease were introduced into the country, it would be difficult to contain.

He used the banana bunchy top virus as an example of the potential danger.

“Think of how we lost all of our traditional bananas in the past and now Malawi is a net importer of bananas … due to our lax policies in terms of imports,” he said.

“There are these similar concerns with maize,” he said, with maize being the nation’s main food crop.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Consolata Chepchirchir

    Are we exporting the same maize we are eating?

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