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Malawi has to make significant strides in food security

By Hashim Msusa   

When the topic of hunger is brought up, it may seem simple but the impact it has on certain people is abhorrent and horrifying. Malawi’s published Food Security Policy of 2006 serves as evidence that hunger is a threat to humanity. Another sign of hunger in Malawi is the existence of school feeding programs. Is it pertinent to talk about the problem of hunger in Malawi, and if so, why?

It is pertinent because every person has the right to obtain and utilize food that is safe, nutritious, and available in the proper quantities, according to Malawi’s Constitution. But widespread hunger affects a large portion of the population in Malawi. In other words, their right to receive food on an individual basis is denied.

Hunger is not just a problem in Malawi. In actuality, there are millions of starving people around the globe. Around the world, millions of children perish from malnutrition and starvation. While a significant population in Malawi is suffering just hunger, children are dying of hunger and malnutrition in Somalia. As a result, tackling the issue of hunger is important not just for Malawi but for the entire globe.

The “why” portion of the question above is based on the worry that hunger saps energy and leads to the loss of life, especially of vulnerable youngsters as is happening in Somalia right now. Sadly, if the populace can’t feed itself, economic development in underdeveloped nations like Malawi will always be hampered. Malawi has to make significant changes in how it approaches food production. Public policies on food security should be taken seriously.

The Almighty God states in the Noble Qur’an that until people change what is inside of themselves, He will not alter their circumstances (including the availability of food). (13:11) According to the above Qur’anic verse, we need to make a change. Changes in policies and their implementation are the only ways to achieve food security. Malawi has to switch from a focus on rain-fed agriculture to massive irrigation.

It’s unlikely that Malawi will be able to attain food security through AIP. Chronic poverty and a lack of purchasing power exist. For instance, many people still cannot afford to buy AIP even if it was available. Even for those who can afford it, there is a shortage of modern farming practices. Malawi has to take seriously the change that the Noble Qur’an is encouraging.

Some would contend that Malawi’s expanding population is to blame for the country’s food insecurity. According to the 2018 Population and Housing Census, there are only 18 million people living in Malawi. Malawi has a lot of undeveloped lands. Colin Clark, an Oxford University professor, predicted that the world could meet the needs of 28 billion people in terms of food, fiber, and other agricultural needs. Meaning our earth can feed 28 billion people. We simply need to make the changes that the Noble Qur’an instructs us to.