Cfsc Warns Of Soaring Maize Prices

The Centre for Social Concern (CfSC) has warned that maize prices in the country could double in the next three months unless government urgently intervenes.

CfCS Programs Officer Bernard Mphepo told Zodiak Online, Friday that this is due to monopoly the private traders are currently enjoying on the staple grain market which has come about due to ADMARC shut down by the government.

"The prices of maize keeps on rising every month. Currently it is being sold at an average price of K22 500 per 50 Kg bag across the country. If the current trends continue, we are estimating that the price for the staple grain could reach up to K40 000 per 50 Kg bag. That would be a worse scenario ever", said Mphepo.

Mphepo has therefore called on government's urgent intervention in rescuscitating ADMARC operations a move which he said would help to stabilise prices for the commodity as the state grain marketer would offer competitive prices.

His remarks has been echoed by the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) Executive Director, John Kapito who has blamed the private traders by taking advantage of ADMARC absence on the maize market to  infrate their prices.

When asked for a reaction, ADMARC officials refered the matter to the Ministry of Agriculture whose officials asked for more time before commenting.

In September this year former Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe suspended operations for the staple grain marketer which had at that time failed to buy maize for this season from local farmers despite being funded about 6 billion kwacha for the task.

In his State of National Address recently, President, Chakwera said most of the ADMARC maize is with the commercial banks and that government is sourcing funds to repossess the maize to  be sold to the local masses.

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