Admarc in K119 billion deficit
MPs threaten to reject Ministry vote
The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has disclosed that it has a K119.3 billion deficit to execute planned activities this year.
Admarc Head of Finance Chrissy Nyirenda said this Tuesday, during an interface with members of the Agriculture and Food Security and Natural Resources and Climate Change Cluster.
She told cluster members that are scrutinising budget allocations that the corporation submitted to the Treasury a budget of K123.3 billion but has been allocated K4 billion in the budget.
“From the K123.3 billion, we wanted to use K40.5 billion for the purchase of crops, K40.7 billion to settle some of the loans that we have and we were also planning to procure fertiliser. As such, K123.3 was the [sum] total for those three items.
“However, with the K4 billion we have been allocated, we feel [that] it will not be possible for us to revamp Admarc because we are expecting at least K40.5 billion for procurement of crops for the coming season,” Nyirenda said.
On the issue of crops, Admarc planned to procure 38,000 metric tonnes (mt) for commercial purposes.
If further planned to procure 50,000mt of fertiliser, according to the officials.
Nyirenda told cluster members that Admarc already penned the Treasury on the matter, adding that they are waiting for a response.
“What we are saying is; the money allocated to us in the budget is very far from our budget and our plans cannot be achieved with such a figure,” the head of finance said.
But Budget Director Loyce Chilimsungwi said Admarc asked them to help it with resources that would enable it to settle debt as well as for recapitalisation.
“These are the two issues they needed us to support them on. So, for recapitalisation— [and] they can also confirm [this]— it was [meant] for Admarc and its commercial market,” Chilimsungwi said.
Chilimsungwi implored cluster members to also consider Admarc’s performance, saying a lot of funds go to Admarc, such that its performance has to be scrutinised.
However, co-chairpersons for the cluster, Werani Chilenga and Sameer Suleman, said they would personally not support the agriculture vote if Admarc financial issues are not addressed.
In an interview with journalists, Chilenga described Admarc’s purported under-funding as unfortunate.
“It seems that the government is not interested in funding Admarc before it is completely restructured. That’s what I have discovered; they are unwilling because they are not sure about whether the money will be well managed before structures are put in place.
“But, at the same time, we blame the government for delaying to restructure Admarc because, by now, they could have been done with restructuring and Admarc could have been fully operational but, now, farmers are suffering; things are not working,” Chilenga said.
Last week, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Sosten Gwengwe announced that K4 billion had been allocated to the Admarc recapitalisation activity.