Malawi Key Message Update, July 2017
Near average maize grain prices recorded as harvesting concludes across the country
The average price for maize grain continues to decline as harvesting concludes in the central and northern regions of the country. For example, in Salima average prices for June fell 19 percent since April. The price in June is nearly 50 percent below prices in June 2016 and 8 percent below the five-year average. In Karonga, average maize grain prices dropped to levels that are 39 percent below the five-year average and 27 percent below average prices in June 2016.
Current informal maize imports are significantly below the five-year average because of the average 2017 production. In contrast, informal cross border exports to places like Tanzania are 76 percent above the five-year average due to increasing demand for maize in the East African region. The informal cross border exports to Tanzania, and Mozambique through central and southern Malawi districts, were recorded at 1,769 MT for the month of June and 1,750 MT for July.
Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security outcomes continue to exist across almost all the wealth groups, as households continue to consume own-produced food. However, very poor and poor households in some localized areas, including the Lower Shire Livelihood zone, will begin relying on food purchases earlier than normal this consumption year due to below average 2017 production.
Farmers are earning less income than normal by selling their cash and food crops at below-average prices. In some cases, farmers are selling maize grain for as low as MWK 50/kg, and selling soya beans for prices that are less than half of prices in the previous marketing season. At the same time, the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) started purchasing maize from farmers for MWK 170/kg. However, ADMARC depots are purchasing maize from farmers at a very slow pace and for only 1-2 days/week due to funding issues.