Malawi expects its maize surplus to increase by nearly 50 percent this season, the minister of agriculture said on Tuesday, a rare economic bright spot for the impoverished southern African nation.

A seed and fertiliser subsidy programme in recent years helped Malawi feed itself.
However the programme later collapsed because of corruption and after dry spells hit the maize belt.
Finance Minister Ken Lipenga told the media last week he was banking on a strong harvest to help stem runaway inflation which stood at 37.9 percent in February.
Maize is the main driver of inflation in the consumer price index, accounting for about 50 percent. It is also the national life-blood and staple crop that feeds the nation, which is one of the poorest in the world.
Global maize prices are relatively subdued at the moment and off peaks scaled last year but remain high by historic standards.

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