The Malawi minister of agriculture, irrigation and water development has defended the maize price set by government arguing that it is justifiable considering prices in the Southern part of Africa.
Appearing before the joint Parliamentary committee of public accounts and on agriculture, minister George Chaponda disclosed that the price of K12, 500 per bag of 50 kilograms (Kgs) was a reflection of maize prices in the Southern of Africa.
Chaponda disclosed that the high price was due to “supply and demand” factor arguing that other countries were also sourcing the maize in Zambia.
The minister told the committee that “maize price index” for Southern Africa is far much high in the region. He told the joint committee that he “has the index” that shows records of maize price for the southern part.
Chaponda added that Malawi had no choice than to procure the maize on the high price arguing that “the house was burning” hence a need at any cost to buy maize.
Different stakeholders have been faulting government arguing that the price for the staple grains was high for a starving poor Malawian.
However, government maintained that price was meant to help Admarc recover loan borrowed from PTA bank.