By Taonga Sabola:
Some of the country’s soya growers have expressed optimism the price of the commodity could rise as high as K400 per kilogram (kg) this year.
The sanguinity comes at a time demand for the commodity continues to rise, thereby exerting pressure on prices.
A visit to selected produce markets in the Southern and Central regions revealed that the price of the commodity was hovering around K335 per kg.
The price is K55 per kg better than the K280 minimum price announced by government at the start of this year’s farm produce selling season.
Kennedy Chimaimba, a soya grower in Ntcheu District, said he is confident that the price of the commodity would continue rising this year.
“So far so good but we are hopeful that the price may surge even further as there is still more demand for the commodity on the market,” Chimaimba said.
Another grower, Samson Kalongonda from Dedza District, said there are strong indications that the price of the commodity would continue to rise due to the prevailing demand.
Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ACE) Chief Executive Officer, Kristian Schach Møller, said interest for the commodity from Zimbabwe had started picking up.
“Prices are at their highest this season at K335 per kg. There is healthy competition on the market as buyers are still keen to buy.
“However, supply has slowed down. Supply seems less than anticipated. Farmers and traders have been happy with prices in general,” Møller said.
Earlier this year, an attempt by the country’s major oilseed producers to push the government to put a restriction on the exports of oilseed, especially soya, in an attempt to keep prices down hit a snag.
Among other things, the firms are said to be pushing for the imposition of $100 per tonne levy on soya bean exports so that domestic prices fall.
But the move attracted the wrath of agriculture stakeholders who described it as retrogressive and in conflict with the principles of the Control of Goods Act.
Farmers Union of Malawi (Fum) Chief Executive Officer, Prince Kapondamgaga, described the proposal as unfortunate, saying there was credible and overwhelming evidence that export restrictions on agricultural produce send mixed signals to farmers as they make their production decisions.