Thursday, August 14, 2008

Running Low on Food in August

Have learned in two places now that at least some rural areas of Malawi are already starting to run out of food. Heard predictions in the north last month that people would start running out of food in mid-August. Spoke with a group of folks from villages surrounding Neno this morning and they said the rains had been poor in this area as well and they also were starting to run out of what they had grown.

Because Malawi depends on subsistence farming, with little to no irrigation, it has a single growing season so there is always a hungry period when crops are first planted in November. August is a bit early for people to start running out of food but there are no predictions of a widespread famine like the one that hit about five years ago.

As for buying maize, the price of 50 kilos, which might feed a family of eight for a week, is now 3500 kwachas (US $23) , compared to 1500 kwachas (US $10) at the same time last year.

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