Residents at Chilumba island have to dig deeper from their pockets to buy a bag of maize which is now selling four times the recommended government price because of the withdrawal of MV Ilala from the Lake Malawi waters.
Maize traders push up the price
MV Ilala has been docked pending routine maintenance works.
People at Chilumba say the docking of the MV Ilala has caused scarcity of the commodity at the island as MV Chilembwe which has taken up the place of MV Ilala cannot take the same capacity of the grain which MV Ilala used to transport.
The maize is now selling at K650 per kilogram compared to the government recommended price of K150 per kg.
Admarc official at Chilumba said there was enough maize at its Nkhata Bay depot only that MV Chilembwe cannot take 600 bags of the maize as MV Ilala could do.
"We are negotiating to see if MV Chilembwe can take at least 200 bags of maize at one go plus passengers," said Hunga.
MV Ilala is supposed to be out of the Lake Malawi waters for some weeks.