The Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has asked producers of cooking oil and sugar to consider packing their products in smaller packs and bottles to be accessed by more Malawians.
The call has come as consumers in rural areas have indicated that they fail to buy some genuine and fortified food products because they are expensive. Those that spoke to Capital FM insist they would have been able to buy fortified products if only they suited their pockets.
The lack of small affordable packs of such food products has also been attributed the increasing presence of unfortified foods in the country’s markets.
A tour by media practitioners in Nsika Wa Njala in Ntcheu district revealed that traders have resolved to repacking cooking oil into small plastic tubes for more customers, a majority being poor, to afford the products.
“It is very hard for one to buy cooking oil, let alone salt, for use at home due to high costs and this is leading to most people, mostly from my village to eat foods that contain none of these added products,” Lamented Jane Ngolowa, a trader at the market.
Executive Director for CAMA, John Kapito has since echoed the call for providing products in smaller packs, pinpointing that everyone deserves foods that are fortified and must at all means afford them.
“We are aware that sugar and cooking oil are available and accessible in most parts of the country. What is wrong about sugar and cooking oil is the packs and we would want to see more of the smaller packs of these products because these are the readily available products that are fortified if they are from reputable producers,” noted Kapito.
John Kapito of CAMA has also added that Malawians will hopefully stop being malnourished if they consume fortified foods.
Fortified foods are foods to which extra nutrients have been added including vitamin A, folic acid, iodine, and zinc and CAMA along with the government has since been implementing a mandatory food fortification program.
Despite the calls being made by the authorities, Malawians are being encouraged to learn about fortification and its importance through the channels closely present to them.
Food products that are on a mandatory fortification program include salt, cooking oil, maize flour, wheat and sugar. When the foods contain the right amount of nutrients, they are pasted a fortification logo with ingredient contents clearly labeled on the packets.