The price of maize is rising in Malawi and the staple grain is now getting scarce despite the country having registered a hamper harvest this year.
Maize was selling at K8 per kg as recently as April, but the price has been shooting up and is now selling at K30 per kg in most places such as Ngabu in Chikwawa district, according to s survey by Nyasa Times.In Blantyre a 50kg bag is fetching at K1, 600.
Companies that make chicken feed like Protofeeds in the commercial city of Blantyre are buying maize at K31 per kg.
An official at National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) disclosed that government is currently failing to find suppliers to supply 30,000 metric tonnes of maize to the new Mangochi silos because the agency is offering the buying price of K17 per kg, which is far below the market price.
“Admarc has only 300 tonnes of maize, of which 150 tonnes is in Luchenza,” disclosed the source.
He said the country no longer has surplus in maize because it was largely sold to Zimbabwe to abate starvation in Robert Mugabe’s country following a political concession between President Bingu wa Mutharika and Mugabe.
The NFRA official predicted that by the end of November, maize will be very scarce in Malawi.
“This situation has left experts wondering how Malawi will be able to fulfil its commitment of donating 5,000 metric tonnes of maize to Swaziland and Lesotho when there isn’t enough maize to feed Malawians,” said the source.
President Mutharika pledged to donate maize to the two African monarchies that face famine this year.
Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture were coy to comment referring us to the Minister responsible.
President Mutharika is in charge of the ministry and could not immediately comment as he is reportedly recuperating from a hernia operation abroad and his deputy Binston Kutsaira was also unavailable.
NFRA general manager, Edward Sawerengela, also declined to comment on the matter.