Malawians baulk at maize price hike

Julius Kaliya in Blantyre

Malawians are up in arms over a unilateral decision by the government to triple the producer price of the staple maize.

The government announced the producer price of maize will go up from April 1, but did not indicate how much the retail price will be.

‘‘I don’t think most people will afford this,” said Makina Gulumba, a political observer.

Malawi’s Natural Resources Minister Kamangadazi Chambalo said the government was looking at ‘‘modalities of fixing the retail price’‘.

The maize marketing controller at the state-owned Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) described the pricing as a ‘‘very sensitive issue’‘. But an Admarc source said the corporation was bitter with the decision to raise the producer price of maize, adding that the organisation was not consulted.

A human rights organisation, Forum for National Conscience (Fonaco), also condemned the government’s move, which some sources said was aimed at increasing food production and attract investment in the commercial farming sector. -IPS

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