The government, through Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), will start buying maize from smallholder farmers early next month.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, said they would announce prices before the end of the month.
He was speaking Thursday on the sidelines of a field day which Machinga Agriculture Development Divison organised in some Extension Planning Areas in Mangochi District.
Admarc has been under fire for a long time for failing to join the maize purchase season quicker than vendors.
The state grain trader used to start buying maize either in September or October.
“We are pleased to announce that this year, we will start buying maize from smallholder farmers earlier than in the previous years. This has been done to stop the maize from landing in the hands of vendors,” Nankhumwa said.
“Through reforms, we have made it possible to change the calendar for buying maize so that we stock more maize which will be later sold back to farmers during the lean season.”
Nankhumwa advised farmers to keep enough maize for consumption before selling the surplus to Admarc.
This year’s maize product ion has been estimated at 3.7 million metric tonnes, up from 3.4 million tonnes last farming season.
In an earlier interview, Admarc Acting Chief Executive Officer, Felix Jumbe, said they want to buy 20 percent of the estimated total harvest.