Agriculture Development and Marketing Cooperation (Admarc) has reiterated its commitment to ensure that smallholder farmers are empowered and offered a stable market for their commodities.
Admarc Acting Chief Executive Officer, Felix Jumbe, said this in Blantyre on Monday on the sidelines of a press briefing where the state produce trader gave an update on agricultural commodities market trend this far.
Jumbe said the move would help address challenges farmers have been facing
“We would like to promote farming because we are now a national aggregator for smallholder farmers and our mission is to stimulate production and productivity for the smallholder farmers,” Jumbe said.
He said the corporation is this week opening extra selling points to accommodate large scale traders without affecting small scale farmers.
The markets will be in Balaka, Limbe and Luchenza in the Southern Region, and in Lilongwe and Salima districts in the Central Region. In the North Region, Admarc said it will open extra markets in Mzuzu and Chilumba.
National Smallholder Farmers of Malawi (Nasfam) commended Admarc for the reforms but urged the firm to put in place mechanisms that would help safeguard the farmers.
Nasfam Head of Policy and Communications, Beatrice Makwenda said Admarc should use area committees if the arrangement is to benefit the farmers.
“They [Admarc] should encourage farmers in different ADEs to take part or to be included in the marketing committees,” Mwakwenda said.
This season, Admarc started buying maize earlier in a bid to protect farmers from exploitation.
Malawi remains an agro based economy and maize is the staple crop while tobacco is a major forex earner.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.