Average retail maize prices decreased by one percent last month at K130 per kilogramme, although prices in the Northern Region remained higher than in the Southern and Central Region, according to the October monthly maize market report.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) monthly publication, the largest price decrease was recorded in Mzimba at six percent, followed by Rumphi at three percent.
The report indicates that prices of maize showed a declining trend throughout the month of October but there was a slight increase in prices in the South.
“Retail maize prices in Malawi remain lower than in most markets elsewhere in the region. As was the case in September, the highest prices were reported in Kigali-Rwanda, followed by Dar es salaam-Tanzania and Nairobi-Kenya during the month of October 2017.
“The lifting of the maize export ban on October 30 2017 may therefore be expected to result in maize exports to the North until the maize harvest in eastern Africa begins in December or January,” reads the report in part.
In an interview last week, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism spokesperson Wiskes Nkombezi said the ministry is currently working on guidelines to avoid chaos in the domestic maize market.
“It should be clear that everyone is entitled to use this opportunity so long as it makes economic sense for them but we are mainly targeting medium and large scale farmers. We are developing guidelines, which should be made available to the public soon, so that the domestic market is not deprived of the staple grain and that maize stock is not depleted,” he said.
Nkombezi said while it is the exporter’s mandate to identify markets, the most probable market would be in East Africa, which has a maize deficit, unlike our neighbours South Africa and Zambia, who recorded a surplus.
This year, Malawi produced more than 30 percent surplus in maize owing to good climatic conditions after two successive years of low output due to drought and floods.