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Malawi Food Crisis: What is a Maize Bank?

Published 10 Aug 2016

Part of our response to help the people of Malawi during the food crisis it to build new grain silos, or maize banks.

Last year’s floods destroyed not only the crops but also the stores used to keep crops between harvests. There are three stages to our emergency response. Emergency food aid, supporting farmers to increase crops, and building maize banks. Together they mean people don’t just eat today, but are equipped to see themselves through this food crisis.

Your gift will help provide the materials and support needed to build a village maize bank. By doing so you will stop people in Malawi from going hungry. Here’s how:

Protect the crops

Without adequate protection crops will spoil. Exposure to the elements, to animals and to pests all mean life-saving can be wasted. Every handful of grain spoiled is a meal wasted, possibly somebody’s only meal that day.

Planning for tomorrow

The food crisis is predicted to last well into 2017. Families are having to be careful with their food supplies to see them through this difficult time. Silos enable communities to come together and store what food they can.

Keep food affordable

If maize can’t be stored, it is sold off. Then in the months to come when local supplies run out, people are forced to buy back maize at an inflated cost. As food supplies dwindle the cost of living increases. Storing maize locally keeps people fed and stops them driving themselves further into poverty to feed their families.

You can help stop the hunger with a sustainable solution to Malawi’s food crisis by supporting our emergency appeal. All gifts to the appeal are being matched by the Scottish government, doubling their impact.