Malawi maize costs up by 50%, inflation to rise

Malawians will keep on digging deep in their pockets as the cost of maize meal, a staple foodstuff, has gone up 50 percent margin,

“With immediate effect”, a bag of 50 Kilogramme of maize will now sale at K3, 000, from K2, 000, according to Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) spokesperson Agnes Chikoko.

Recently, there has been a shortage of maize leading to skyrocketing prices of the grains on unofficial market.

The cash-strapped government through the grain marketer, Admarc, has been rationing maize sales as the country is facing a deficit of the grain, some which was exported to Zimbabwe.

Maize prices increased. Photo credit kyhm54 flikr

But Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kingsley Namakhwa said recently that the rationing does not mean the country is out of maize supplies.

He told the press that Admarc is rationing the maize in order to deter vendors from benefiting from the low prices offered.

“Vendors are flocking out to Admarc to purchase the cheap maize and make profits out of it. It is difficult to distinguish a vendor and a consumer. But be assured that the country has enough maize supplies,” Namakhwa was quoted in the Business Times.

Corn meal, milled from maize, is the mainstay of the Malawi diet. A 5kg bag will feed a family of six – a typical family size in Malawi – eating just one meal a day, for four to five days.

Boiled corn meal, known as Nsima, is the principal bulk of a meal, accompanied by beans or meat stew by the middle class.  Malawians also use corn mean for porridge at breakfast.

The increase in grain prices is feared to trigger inflation.

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