Project Note: How much did the maize export ban cost Malawi?

In a new MaSSP Project Note, IFPRI Malawi estimated the potential lost revenue of Malawi's export ban on maize following the 2016/17 harvesting season. Researchers estimated K69billion as the sum of gross revenue local traders could have earned, were they permitted to export their maize to Kigali, Rwanda. The sum was estimated as up to K54billion for exports to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The maize export ban was criticized for putting local farmers at a huge disadvantage by drastically lowering maize resale prices, thus limiting the market for domestic farmers.

The study follows the official lifting of the maize ban in October by Malawi's President, Peter Mutharika. However, the window of opportunity for maize exports from Malawi to its east African neighbors is already closing, as maize prices in the region have been dropping since September, with much less demand for Malawian maize given the onset of the second maize harvest in neighboring Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

  • Download the MaSSP Project Note here.
  • More commentary about these findings and the broader impact of the maize ban can be found in this news article about the study published in The Nation on December 14, 2017.
  • Click here to read an op-ed written by the IFPRI Malawi Program Leader on the subject of Malawi's maize export ban, published in The Nation on April 10, 2017.