Retail prices of maize have been on the rise since May this year, picking up by five percent in most markets in September alone, a Nico Asset Managers report for the month has revealed.
Maize is Malawi’s staple food and weighs heavily in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure for computing inflation.
According to the Nico Asset Managers Report, retail prices for maize have been constantly rising in 11 markets across the country and decreased in four markets.
The largest increase was recorded in Nsungwi at 16.0 percent while the largest decrease was recorded in Chiringa at 6.0 percent and Chikwawa recorded the highest average retail price at K200 per kilogramme (kg) while Chitipa recorded the lowest average retail price of K103 per kg during the month.
“In the districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa in southern Malawi, very poor households are starting to face stressed security outcomes in the September/October 2021 period and are expected to face crisis security outcomes beginning in the November/December 2021 period,” he report reads.
Despite the increase in Agricultural Development Corporate (Admarc)’s selling price from K160 per kg to K205 per kg, retail prices of maize in the month of September 2021 were still trending below the old Admarc selling price, averaging K147.00 per kg.
This is about 5.0 percent higher than the average price in August 2021 and 18.0 percent lower than in September 2020.
Agricultural commentator Leonard Chimwaza said since Admarc is not purchasing maize, it means farmers will not benefit from their toil because maize is in abundance.
Chimwaza added that the problem is that both government and farmers were out looking at food security forgetting that they need economic security as well.
“The farmers forgot that they need to address food security, economic security and nutrition security problems but because they only concentrated on food security they cannot sell produce now to have economic security because the supply is high while demand is low,” he said.
Admarc said it would be selling maize at K205 per kg to cover for the cost of purchasing and supplying to the markets.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.