The monthly maize market report released by the International Food Policy Research Institute of Malawi (IFPRI) shows that the retail price of maize decreased by 4.7 percent in April.
This comes as the country is projected to have bumper yield this year, thanks to the good rainfall pattern and the Affordable Input Programme implementation.
This trend comes alongside a background of price drops in recent periods.
For example, the monthly average retail maize price for April 2021 was K171 per kilogramme (kg), lower than the previous month which was K181 per kg, which is additionally lower than the previous year of April 2020 which was K171 per kg.
These figures, are however, in line with predictions by the IFPRI.
“With the 2020/21 harvesting season in progress, the prices for recently harvested maize are usually lower than the old maize harvested in the 2019/20 period because of its higher moisture content, but they, however, follow the same pattern as the old maize prices throughout the month,” the report reads.
Notably, these new prices are lower than even the minimum farmgate price of maize (K150 per kg) which was recently set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
Local agriculture expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula attributes the maize price drop to the rise in supply on the market as some people started harvesting in some parts of the country, especially in the Southern Region.
“The potential buyers for maize have alternatives and are also harvesting, hence not relying on the market for maize. That increases the supply of maize on the market in general, thereby leading to the drop in price,” he said.
He added that maize prices would continue to drop going forward as the country expects a bumper harvest.