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Admarc seeks K300 billion loans

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SEEKS COMMITTEE INTERVENTION—Jumbe

State-owned grain trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) has told the Agriculture Committee of Parliament that it needs K300 billion for recapitalisation.

Thus, Admarc has asked the committee to convince the Ministry of Finance to allow it to borrow the money for the same purpose.

The parastatal’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Felix Jumbe, made the request when he met the committee yesterday where he also said there was need to increase Admarc markets and make the corporation ready to buy any agricultural produce from farmers.

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He said to that effect, it is necessary to recapitalise Admarc “once and for all” and that the money can be repaid within 10 years.

“New capital would start making Admarc operate at a high level of economic activity that would be flashing out a lot of profitability and that would enable it to buy from farmers every year,” Jumbe said.

He said presently, the corporation does not have funds to buy produce from farmers during the buying season.

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“We are saying the role of Admarc is to effect food security, income development of the people and forex security for the country,” Jumbe said.

He said Admarc needs between K220 billion and K230 billion to buy every crop from farmers each year.

Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Ulemu Chilapondwa, promised to support the corporation saying he was impressed with its plans.

“If Admarc indeed implements what they have actually given us as a turnaround, then issues to do with smallholder farmers being manipulated on the prices of their commodities will be a thing of the past,” said Chilapondwa.

He said in the past, the entity was an aggregator and a regulator of the produce on the market and that the current turnaround strategy was aimed at reaching the same “where a smallholder farmer should be assured of a steady market”.

“As we are talking now, smallholder farmers are being manipulated by vendors because there is no regulator,” Chilapondwa said.

He said as such, it is necessary for the corporation to recapitalise and address the challenge.

Chilapondwa said as Members of Parliament, their duty is to lobby the government for more support and funds to Admarc.

In recent years, the state grain trader has been failing to buy all the produce from farmers leaving them to fall victims of low prices being offered by vendors

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