Poor tobacco sales have rendered some households in Kasungu food insecure as they resorted to selling maize to earn more money.
Kasungu district agriculture development officer (Dado) Patterson Kandoje confirmed the development.
“They did not keep some maize for food and
this has brought scarcity of the commodity at district level,” he said.
Group village head Mangiza from Traditional Authority Kapelura blamed lack of markets for the food insecurity.
“Most people harvest enough maize to sell and for food. However, we do not have good markets such that we end up selling more maize at low prices to vendors,” he said.
Mangiza said the only market that offers good prices is Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) but does not open in time.
“As I am speaking, Admarc is buying maize but we do not have the maize to sell. I, therefore, urge government to open Admarc depots in time,” he said.
Kasungu Civil Society Agriculture Network chairperson Braxton Banda said most households face food insecurity in the district because of over-dependence on tobacco.
However, the Dado’s office said government plans to provide relief food to households facing hunger in the district and that the households have also been targeted in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme.