by Wanangwa Tembo
Member of Parliament for Kasungu West Constituency, Jairos Bonongwe, has bemoaned the tendency of selling and leasing out land, saying it increases incidences of hunger amongst communities in the area.
Speaking on Saturday at Chidzenje in Traditional Authority Lukwa in Kasungu, Bonongwe said many people have either sold or leased out their land and have nowhere to cultivate crops, hence they perpetually experience food shortages.
“It is sad to note that most of us now are not engaged in any type of farming because we have sold our land for some quick cash. Some of us have leased out our own farms such that we have become labourers in our own farms.
“This lust for quick money that does not even last has thrown us into deep poverty. We neither have food nor a place to cultivate upon . In the end, we blame the President and the government for our own mistakes,” Bonongwe said.
Bonongwe said he organised an interface to give his constituents a chance to suggest practical solutions to hunger and make the area self-reliant and food secure.
As part of the solutions, people agreed to form farmer’s clubs through which they will be growing diverse early maturing crops that do not require fertilisers, such as cassava and sweet potatoes while the MP will support the groups with cuttings.
Representing Senior Chief Lukwa, Group Village Head Uthonde thanked the MP for the initiative, saying it would make the communities have food all year round.
“I commend the MP for taking this path. In a way it will also help reduce cases whereby people lease out land for many years and stay all that time without engaging in any kind of farming.
“This initiative will also ensure that we harvest several times in a year and also reduce over reliance on maize as a food crop. If we take it seriously, we will defeat hunger,” said Lukwa.
According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report, out of the country’s 4.4 million people that are food insecure this year, at least 143,000 are in Kasungu district.