Now Reading
Grain Prices Skyrocket in Malawi After Cyclone Freddy

Grain Prices Skyrocket in Malawi After Cyclone Freddy

Prices of food, especially grain in Malawi have skyrocketed following the devastation caused by tropical storm Cyclone Freddy early this month resulting in markets being severely impacted and hampering people’s access to basic essentials.

This was confirmed by the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) this week.

“In Chikwawa District, the price of grain has skyrocketed in most council markets, with the current average price of maize per kilogramme ranging from 1 000 Malawian kwacha (around US95 cents) to MK1 200 (around US$1.10), which is unaffordable to the average farmer, according to preliminary needs assessment findings,” OCHA said.

It added: “In both Mulanje and Phalombe districts, most households had their food stocks and crops washed away or submerged by flood water. In Phalombe District, food supplies in most local markets are low and, in some cases, completely unavailable.

“Access to main markets is also still limited as most roads were damaged, particularly in the Traditional Authority Nkhulambe. Utilisation of maize – the staple food in this region – has been difficult since Freddy’s passage, due to the lack of power to operate mills which process the maize into flour.”

OCHA said services for children and women have been hard-hit by the crisis.

“Stocks meant for school feeding programmes have been used to feed displaced people in Phalombe District, while under-five clinics, outpatient therapeutic, antenatal clinics and supplementary feeding programmes have also been affected due to low distribution of drugs, equipment and the flooding of parts of the Phalombe health centre.”

Malawi’s agricultural sector has suffered severe devastation due to Cyclone Freddy. Smallholder farmers, who were already struggling to make ends meet due to the inflation in food prices and the worst cholera epidemic in decades, are among the hardest hit by the storm.

The devastation wrought by Cyclone Freddy on Malawi’s economy and the agriculture sector is beyond imagination. The cyclone claimed over 300 lives and displaced over 180 000 others.

According to the One Acre Fund, an agricultural service provider that supports Africa’s smallholder farmers, farmers in Malawi were in the midst of preparing their fields for April harvesting when the cyclone struck. This left their crops and soil severely damaged.

“I had just started planting when the cyclone came. All my crops were destroyed, and my fields were washed away. I don’t know how I will survive this year,” one farmer said.

The cyclone also comes at a time when Malawi is facing several other crises, including inflation in food prices and the worst cholera epidemic in decades.

The country has experienced five major extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, over the past seven years, highlighting the urgent need for climate adaptation measures and support for affected communities.

One Acre Fund is also seeking US$1 million in new funds to provide support to the country.

It plans to carry out measurements and evaluations to assess the extent of the damage to farms and livelihoods, inform an effective response strategy, and potentially distribute drying tarps to prevent the rotting of flooded harvests.

It will also provide inputs later in the year to enable farmers to replant crops and restore damaged infrastructure such as bridges.

See Also

Farmers Review Africa



Scroll To Top

We have detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or other adblocking software which is causing you to not be able to view 360 Mozambique in its entirety.

Please add to your adblocker’s whitelist or disable it by refreshing afterwards so you can view the site.