BLANTYRE (DPA)- About 2.8 million people in Malawi are at risk of starvation, local daily Nation reported a committee of experts as saying on Friday.
The figure is the highest in a decade and is equivalent to 20 percent of the population of the southern African country.
According to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, floods and drought have destroyed crops in all but three of the country’s 28 districts.
The committee comprises representatives from the government, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations.
Shortages have affected maize, which makes up more than 60 percent of Malawi’s food production, as well as rice and sorghum.
Experts say Malawians’ excessive reliance on maize makes them more vulnerable to malnutrition.
“There are plenty of other foods, which can serve as alternatives, but the majority of Malawians opt to stick to a monodiet of maize. For 51 years, the government has done little to change the mindset,” said Billy Mayaya, a social commentator and human rights activist.
Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hamilton Chimala said the government was devising measures to make sure no Malawian died of hunger