Government has directed that Admarc's maize purchase price be revised from MK150 to MK180/ kilogramme for all maize delivered to rural markets.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa disclosed this on Friday in Lilongwe during a press conference on maize procurement by government.
He said government has also directed that if the maize is delivered to Admarc depots, the price would be MK200/kg.
“Government has directed that National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) enters the market as soon as possible to replenish the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR). NFRA will be buying maize from all Malawians at a maximum price of K200.00/kg,” Nankhumwa added.
The Minister said government has taken such steps to avoid any previous scenarios whereby Malawi maize was sold to neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia through informal cross border trade.
“I would like to assure the country that we have enough maize stocks for every Malawian and that the country is food secure. We will continue monitoring the procurement process and provide regular reports to ensure that we secure the minimum requirement for national food security for both Admarc and SGR,” he explained.
Admarc opened its markets across the country from July 10, 2019.
He said government was aware of some maize buyers, traders and middlemen who started procuring maize at lower than the minimum set government farmgate price of MK150 per kg.
The Minister pointed out that government condemns such traders for exploiting farmers and foiling government’s motive of incentivizing agricultural production of small holder farmers.
The results of the third round of Agriculture Production Estimates Survey (APES) indicated that maize production was at 3,391,924 metric tonnes representing a 24.7 per cent increase compared to the 2017/18 final round estimates of 2,697,959 metric tonnes.
SGR guidelines, recommends that SGR size should be 217,000 metric tonnes, which comprise 95,000 metric tonnes buffer stock, 8,000 metric tonnes for emergency stock, 76,000 metric tonnes for non emergency response and 38,000 metric tonnes for stabilisation.
These stocks are kept by government two statutory institutions Admarc and NRFA. The stabilisation stock forms part of what Admarc sells through its outlets across the country.
Admarc is buying maize from small holder farmers using funds from a commercial loan amounting to K2.5 billion.