CISANET Fears Kwacha Depreciation Will Fuel Hunger
The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) has bemoaned the recent depreciation of the country’s currency, the Malawi Kwacha, that it has potential to fuel hunger in the country.
CISANET Board Chairperson Herbert Chagona says this is the case as it will negatively affect the country’s food production due to its overreliance on imported fertilizers.
He says there is a need for decisive actions to be employed and treat the matter with the urgency that it deserves.
“Efforts should be made to enhance market systems and facilitate the availability and affordability of food; in this case, maize. This can be achieved through supporting local markets like ADMARC, improving storage facilities, and promoting investments in agro-processing industries.
“The government should mobilize all necessary resources and establish a well-coordinated emergency response system to mitigate the impact of extreme heat on agriculture, livestock, and food production. Early warning systems must be reinforced to ensure prompt action can be taken in the event of heat waves or other climate-related emergencies,” he said.
Chagona added that to deal with the problem and ensure people in the country do not fall prey to hunger in future, “there is a need for proactive measures to increase agricultural diversity and promote climate-resilient farming practices in both rural and urban areas.”
According to Chagona, enhancing social safety nets, nutrition support, climate change adaptation and mitigation can also help to solve the problem.
On 31 August, 2023, the Reserve Bank of Malawi depreciated the currency by 0.27 per cent after another 2.4 percent depreciation in June, making the Kwacha to trade at K1,058.82 against the US Dollar.