|August 26, 2002
EU to Buy Maputo Maize to Assist Malawi
The European Commission (EC) is to fund the purchase of surplus maize in the northern region of Mozambique to assist needy people in the neighbouring Malawi, reads an EC press release received by AIM on Monday, August 26. The document says that this operation is intended to assist hungry people in Malawi, one of the most affected countries in southern Africa, victims of drought. "In terms of food aid, the EC policy for Malawi is preferably to acquire food at regional level, whenever possible, rather than importing it from Europe", reads the note.
The idea is to prevent that Malawi, a natural market for the Mozambican northern region's maize, to import large quantities of food aid, thus cuasing steep falls in the prices of maize in northern Mozambique, which would negatively influence the planting of the product in the coming agricultural seasons. The maize bought from Mozambique will strengthen the food reserves of the Malawian National Food Reserves Agency (NFRA), in order to support its various poverty relief programmes.
With the help of the Mozambican Industry and Trade Ministry, NFRA will promote the sales of the Mozambican maze in the region, despite the fact that various Mozambican regions are themselves going through a food shortage. The problem is that it is easier to sell maize to Malawi than, for instance, bringing it to the needy Mozambican regions, further south, all because of difficulties of access routes. (AGENCIA DE INFORMACAO DE MOCAMBIQUE)