Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) has correlated the steep fall of maize prices to speculation that there will be enough harvest this year compared to the previous year, besides this being the harvest season.
Spot checks by Business News between Wednesday and Friday last week, revealed that vendors at various markets surrounding Blantyre are selling a 50 kilogramme (Kg) bag of maize at between K2 500 and K6 000, whereas the State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), is still selling the grain at K12 500 per bag.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Cisanet national director Tamani Nkhono-Mvula observed that the development could be in response to the current situation, and market dynamics.
“There are indications that we will have bumper harvest this year. This has pushed traders, that were withholding maize from last year, to clear the stock and the only thing they can do is to sell their maize at a relatively cheap price, hence the current prices,” said Nkhono-Mvula.
On his part, programme officer for Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) Economic Governance, Lucky Mfungwe, noted that the current pricing only suggests an irregularity in the pricing.
Similarly, Nico Asset Managers in its monthly economic report for March observed that average maize prices have declined by about 11 percent since December 2016, which is unusual as historical trends have indicated that between December and February maize prices normally increase by about 30 percent.