09:44 pm - Wednesday 21 November 2018

Average Malawian not able to afford maize as prices soar

By Amalawi - Fri Oct 05, 9:04 am

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The Ministry of Agriculture has released data which indicates that prices of maize in the Southern Region are rising fast compared to the Centre and the North.

Prices are likely to rise yet again in reletion to the price of fuel which is constanly going up. Yesterday Malawi Energy Reguratory Authority (MERA) increased the price of fuel however they have been over ruled by the president Joyce Banda. It is likely that the higher fuel prices will be applied sooner than later since Malawi opted for the automatic pricing mechanisim (APM)

According to data from the ministry, the price of maize In Nsanje, a district heavily affected by the dry spell, maize was selling at price K70.59 (about $0.23) per kilogramme.

However trading center close to the commercial city the prices were much higher, the famous Bvumbwe Trading Centre in Thyolo maize is selling at K79.98 (about $0.28) per kilogramme, meaning one had to cough K4 000 (about $13) to buy a 50 kilogramme bag of maize. An average family of six needs about 50KG per month

The data shows that maize is cheaper in the Northern Region with Misuku in Chitipa being the lowest at K28.14 (about $0.09) per kilogramme.

In the region, maize was expensive in Karonga selling at K68.16 ($0.22) per kg while in Mzuzu it was pegged at K64.25 (about $0.21) per kg.

In the Central Region, the grain was selling at K77.83 (about $0.25) in Dwangwa.

Last year, maize was selling at as low as K18 (about $0.06) per kg in some parts of the Southern Region while in the North it was at K15 (about $0.05) per kg.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet), an organisation which provides an update on the food security conditions in the country, yesterday indicated that about 1.7 million people need food aid, especially in the South.

Maize not affordable by average Malawians

Maize not affordable by average Malawians

“If funding is not ramped up immediately….acute food insecurity conditions are likely by December 2012. Current maize prices are double those of 2011 and have continued to rise on most local markets in the South, exceeding recent Fewsnet projections in several areas,” reads a statement from Fewsnet.

This confirms an earlier report by the ministry that most farmers did not harvest enough maize this year to take them to the next harvest season due to the dry spell.

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