Minimum Expenditure Basket in Malawi – Rounds 43: 29 November-3 December 2021 – A Look at Food Prices and Availability in Times of COVID-19


• Households’ minimum survival expenditure increased in all regions except for the rural Southern Region. Between Rounds 42 and 43 of data collection, the Survival Minimum Expenditure Baskets (SMEBs) rose by 2.1 percent in the urban areas; 1.9 percent in the rural Northern Region; and 1.8 percent in the rural Central Region. The rural Southern Region registered a marginal decrease of 0.6 percent in households’ expenditures. In the current round, key commodities whose prices generally increased across the regions included beans, cooking oil and soap.

• The price of maize grain price remained unchanged between the current and previous rounds, trading at an average price of MK 144 per kg as farmers continued offloading their stocks on the market to finance the purchase of farm inputs in turn suppressing grain prices.

• The national average price of beans rose by 4.5 percent to MK 1,147 per kg from MK 1,108 in the last round. The price of beans has been rising since April 2021, due in part to this year’s poor production of the crop.

• Cowpea and pigeon pea prices increased by 2.5 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. Between Round 42 and Round 43, the price of cowpeas rose from MK 630 per kg to MK 641 per kg, while pigeon pea prices went from MK 544 per kg to MK 577 per kg.

Source: World Food Programme