The skyrocketing prices are putting pressure on inflation as evident with inflation rate pushed to 9.3 percent by close of July this year, data from National Statistical Office (NSO) Stats Flash reveal.
Other indicators show that Food inflation rose by 0.5 percentage to 14.2 on the other hand non food inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 percent. On the produce market a bag of maize is now fluctuating between K10, 000 - K13, 000 in various markets across the country.
Responding to the development, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, said the increasing maize prices have been worsened by declining stocks from the previous season.
Nankhumwa has since directed that Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) start purchasing maize at K180 per kg as a revised price from the previous price of K150.This according to Nankhumwa applies to all maize delivered to rural markets but all maize delivered to Admarc depots will be fetching K200 per kg.
He said, “ to complement maize procured by Admarc, government has also directed that National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) enters the market as soon as possible to restock the strategic grain reserves.”
“NFRA will be buying maize from all Malawians at a maximum price of K200 per kg,” said Nankhumwa.
Admarc is on record to have borrowed K2.5 billion from a commercial bank to buy maize.
Lately, the parastatal has been struggling competing with vendors on the market in purchasing of maize. Smallholder farmers (farmers) are opting to sell the produce to vendors who were offering better prices. Maize is the country’s staple food.