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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Malawi to donate, sell maize surplus - president

Tue 21 Aug 2007, 5:36 GMT
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BLANTYRE (Reuters) - Malawi will sell its surplus maize or donate it to food-short neighbours, President Bingu wa Mutharika was quoted as saying on Monday.

Malawi is enjoying its second surplus harvest in a row, with a crop of 3.4 million tonnes, 1.3 million more than the national requirement.

But the opposition has questioned plans to donate food aid to neighbours when two of the country's own districts are suffering from shortages after their output was destroyed by floods.

Officials have said they have started distributing food to these regions but communities say they see little evidence of that.

Mutharika said his government, which has already sold 400,000 tonnes of the staple grain to Zimbabwe, would donate 10,000 tonnes of maize Lesotho and Swaziland.

"Is it wrong giving this maize to people who require food," Mutharika said in The Nation newspaper on Monday.

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