Malawian President Peter Mutharika has ordered citizens to embark on a three-day prayers for rain.

READ MORE: Samsung sues brand ambassador for using an iPhone on TV

In January this year, Mutharika made a similar order after a dry spell and worsening pest infestation threatened the country's staple maize crop.

Malawi is periodically hit by food shortages as the tropical southern African country relies heavily on rain-fed agriculture and most of its maize is grown on small plots by subsistence farmers.

READ MORE: Meet Sam Okyere: 'The most famous black man in South Korea'

The current dry spell has been exacerbated by an outbreak of crop-munching fall armyworms, a pest from Latin America that first threatened African crops late in 2016.