Rising maize prices continue to put pressure on inflation, with latest figures showing a 0.3 percentage points increase in year-on-year inflation rate for July to 9.3 percent.
National Statistical Office (NSO) Stats Flash shows that inflation rate increased from nine percent the month before.
Food inflation, on the other hand, rose by 0.5 percentage points to 14.2 percent while non-food inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points to 5.5 percent.
Maize prices on the produce market have also been rising, with a bag of 50 kilogramme (kg) fetching K13 000 or K260 per kg in some markets.
On Friday, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said the increasing maize prices have been worsened by declining stocks from the previous season held by smallholder farmers, resulting in increased demand for maize across the country.
He directed that Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) maize buying price be revised from K150 per kg to K180 per kg for all maize delivered to rural markets and K200 per kg for all maize delivered to Admarc depots.
“To complement maize procured by Admarc, government has also directed that National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) enters the market as soon as possible to replenish the Strategic Grain Reserves.
“NFRA will be buying maize from all Malawians at a maximum price of K200 per kg,” he said.
Admarc, which borrowed K2.5 billion from a commercial bank to buy maize, has been struggling to get staple grain from farmers at K150 per kg as farmers opted to sell the grain to traders at between K180 and K230 per kg. Maize, as part of the food component, impacts the country’s economy given that it constitutes 45.2 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is an aggregate basket of goods and services for computing inflation