Malawi’s food production in particular the staple food maize is expected to register a surplus of some 978 123 metric tonnes in 2014/15 fiscal year, a Malawi Vulnerability Assessment report has said.
However, the report says wheat production is once again expected to go down, sharply decreasing by 35 percent this year.
The report further projects maize production at 3 978 123 metric tonnes, representing a 9 percent increase from last season’s final round estimate of 3 639 866.
While the report says wheat production has sharply decreased by 35 percent, production for rice, cassava, sweet potato and sorghum have increased with the total national food requirement for 2014/15 consumption season estimated at three million metric tonnes.
“The ministry further estimates that the total national food requirement for 2014/15 consumption season will be about 3 000 000 metric tonnes. The country is expected to have a maize surplus of 978 123 metric tonnes,” reads the report.
But speaking in Lilongwe, Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe yesterday said despite the expected maize surplus, government should still maintain export ban on maize to avert food deficiencies in some parts of the country.
“Economists advise us to keep the markets open as export bans disturbs pricing and other economic factors but we should also protect those who might be in urgent need of food,” said Gondwe.
Added Gondwe: “It is pleasing that maize is available locally and is being sold at a lower price compared to the same period last year. The assessment has shown that maize is being sold at an average price range of between K70 to K80 per kg during the months of June and July.”
Mvac projects maize price will average K98 per kg between April and March 2015 and may reach a maximum K110 per kg during the peak lean period between December 2014 and January 2015.
Rice production, the reports adds, is estimated at 132 002 metric tonnes from 125 156 metric tonnes which represent five percent increase from last season.