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Admarc needs K300 billion bailout

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By Isaac Salima:

Felix Jumbe

The Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) said it needs a capital of, at least, K300 billion to remain effective.

Admarc has been on its knees seeking government bailout and loans to finance the purchase of maize and fulfil some of its responsibilities.

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Speaking yesterday in Blantyre when Admarc launched its transformation agenda, Admarc’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Felix Jumbe, said it was high time the institution stops getting piecemeal funding if the new vision is to be achieved.

“Our biggest challenge is that there have not been deliberate programmes to capitalise Admarc. This has resulted in it operating on hand to mouth and eventually failing to deliver its core mandate. If we acquire that [K300 billion capital], we can guarantee that Admarc will be able to sustain itself,” Jumbe said.

He said for instance, one district requires about K12 billion to ably buy maize and cash crops from smallholder farmers.

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“This is hard to achieve because we do not always have enough funds. That is why in our renewed vision we are challenging that we can revamp Admarc because we have numerous outlets which we can outplay competition if well supported,” Jumbe said.

Recently Admarc sought a K100 billion loan from Export Development Fund with government as a guarantee for it to purchase maize this season.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Lobin Lowe, who graced the event, said it was sad that massive corruption at Admarc has stood on the way of its progress.

“Admarc has gone through a lot of syndicates and corruption that needs to be dealt with at all levels. I have all the information that for example, the syndicates involved some Admarc employees engaging vendors to buy from farmers at poor prices and in return, the vendors used to sell the produce to Admarc at higher prices. So the issue here is to bring back Admarc to its lost glory,” Lowe said.

The minister further promised that he will lobby for enough funding for Admarc.

Farmers Union of Malawi president, Frighton Njolomole, commended Admarc for taking a new direction.

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