Retail maize prices increased by five percent in August 2021, with prices averaging K140 per kilogramme (kg), published figures from the International Food Policy Research Institute (Ifpri) show.
At K140 per kg, the average retail maize price for the month under review was K10 shy of government’s recommended minimum farm-gate price of K150 per kg.
In its August 2021 Monthly Market Report, Afpri said that during the month, retail prices increased in 21 markets and remained constant in five markets.
The report said the highest average price was recorded in Chikwawa at K200 per kg while Chitipa recorded the lowest average retail price at K94 per kg.
Reads the report in part: “Retail prices of maize remained highest in the South and lowest in the North with mixed trends in the Northern and Central regions.
“As at the end of the month, prices in the Centre ranged from K116 per kg to K131 per kg and averaged K122 per kg.
“In the North, the prices ranged from K111 per kg to K123 per kg and averaged K117 per kg while in the South the prices ranged from K148 per kg to K160 per kg.”
Reacting to the maize prices in an interview yesterday, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito said this “points to challenging times for consumers”.
Maize, as part of the food component, accounts for about 45.2 percent of the Consumer Price Index, which is an aggregate basket of goods and services for computing inflation.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Malawi has revised upwards its 2021 inflation rate projection from 8.4 percent to an average 8.8 percent due to an increase in the non-food inflation.