A recent report by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released indicates that retail maize prices decreased by 35 percent in March 2020.
The report further says that average retail maize price was 79 percent higher than in March 2019.
The decline in prices is attributed to the onset of the harvest season, which typically starts in the South Region.
Maize production is expected to be above average this season and prices are expected to decline further in the coming months.
“Nonetheless, retail maize prices are still at 79 percent higher than in March 2019 and were above K300/kg in the majority of markets monitored during the first two weeks of the month,” reads the report in part.
No purchases by the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) were recorded in March.
Last week Minister of Agriculture and Food security Francis Kasaila, announced that treasury has given Admarc K3 billion to start buying maize beginning with all markets in the Southern Region and Ntcheu District in the Central Region.
The minister said Admarc will open similar markets on April 20 in the Central Region and April 27 in the Northern Region.
Admarc is expected to purchase 600,000 Metric Tonnes of maize from farmers at K200 per Kg.
The move by the government has since been hailed by key stakeholders in the agricultural sector to allow Admarc enter the market earlier in the 2020 agricultural season.
IFPRI Malawi has been monitoring retail maize prices and Admarc activities in selected markets since December 2016.
Currently, data is collected from 26 markets across the country, with monitoring occurring six days per week.