Admarc has hiked maize prices in all its selling points across the country, The Daily Times has established.
According to the new prices, maize grain is now selling at K80 per kilogramme (kg) in all Admarc depots, putting a 50 kg bag at K4, 000. Previously, Admarc was selling the grain at K60 per kg which put a 50 kg bag at K3, 000.
Admarc officials were not immediately available for comment, but sources said the country’s sole official grain marketer effected the new prices last month end.
“We were advised of the new prices last month,” said our source.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture Sara Tione said the ministry is aware of the adjustments but refused to give any explanations.
“That is an issue for Admarc, I know that there are consultations and other discussions that take place to do with prices but the last decision rests with Admarc,” said Tione.
Admarc maize price adjustments come as maize prices also continues to take an upward trend on the parallel market with prices already hitting between K6, 000 and K8, 000, just three months after harvesting.
Spot checks conducted at some Admarc depots in the city of Blantyre, such as Ndirande, Bangwe and Zingwangwa shows that the supply of maize to these markets remain sporadic.
It was further revealed that the grain marketer is still rationing the maize, allowing only a maximum of 25 kg per customer.
“We have had no supplies at this market for two weeks now, every time we find it empty and we go back. For some of us, Admarc is the best resort because prices are lower than those of private traders,” said a woman at Zingwangwa Admarc on Monday.
“I have been at Admarc three times today and got nothing. It is unfortunate that at this time of the year Admarc is failing to have stocks available all the time let alone allow us to buy a full 50 kg bag. This is a sign that government has no maize and we will face even higher prices than it was last year,” said another woman who was buying her maize from a private trader at Zingwangwa market.
Maize prices hit a record K11, 000 on the parallel market at the peak of the last season’s lean period as most Admarc markets run out of stocks. – Reported by Chikondi Juma